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damian

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  1. Hello everyone, I love using the fingerspelling challenge. You know, the recognise-as-many-3to5-letter-words-in-two-minutes test...? Well, I can play with the speed marker edge on the first tiny fast arrow fairly comfortably now, but my scores still average between 25 to 30, with my top score being 35 I think... My difficulty being the typing! The speed of my typing (still needing look at the keyboard sometimes!) really lets me down. Hey ho, I know it's still helping me improve. But it is bewildering to see the scores some people have! How do they get way over sixty (just today Kokono has 72 and I've seen more)?! They must be on fastest speed setting, for sure, but... they must also be touch-typing at crazy speed! I mean, we're talking a second and half each word! Do people use some kind of speech-to-text? Some kind of cheat-code😄? I'm interested to hear anyone's thoughts, experience, tips regarding the challenge, or fingerspelling in general. In my experience using fingerspelling in my support-work role I am often finding the letters in 3D with actual real moving hands(!) much more challenging. I can find myself at the wrong angle to see when someone fluent and faster is signing more towards another person (often makes distinguishing between M and N difficult for example). The dynamic way that hand one shape flows into another is much harder to read than a series of those clear consistent classic illustrations we know. What do you think?
  2. Hi, my name is Damian. I'm currently doing the 'Introducing British Sign Language Online' course with british-sign.co.uk I was intrigued by sign language for some time. I am a very visual, physically expressive person by nature. We had a small introduction to makaton for one of the service users with my previous employer a few years ago, and I became certain I wanted to learn more sign language. However, I ended up rarely supporting the woman in question and what I had learned dwindled to about half the alphabet. One year ago I began supporting a young man who is autistic and non-verbal, using BSL. I see him four or five times a week and I am loving the focus and commitment he has given me. Sure, he will type things on his phone and hold it right up to my face occasionally if need be, or we might use some paper to discuss or draw about something but it feels vital to not depend on that (especially the phone!). Now he trusts me more, he can turn to me for reassurance more readily, he can see I am really trying to learn and is much more patient, teaching me different signs every day. This is now the most satisfying support role I have ever had! As fantastic as it is, for my signing progress now I would dearly love to find others to practise with who have patience for more conversation with perhaps more expressive 'non-manual' dynamics, because my gentleman's autistic traits do sometimes limit his concentration and range of emotional expression. Let me know anyone around southeast, cambridge/london area...?
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