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Why I am learning BSL


sarah clowes
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Hello! My name is Sarah, i am 20 years old and i have started studying British Sign Language. I have always been eager to learn BSL, but never had the option to at school. It has always annoyed me how i could learn French and never meet a French person in my whole life to use what i've learnt, but anyone i meet, already know, or love can be or become deaf at any moment. And the thought of not being able to communicate with them feels so rude and dehumanising. A big wake up call for me was when i was working as a Sales Assistant last year and two Deaf ladies came in and no one in the store could communicate with them, it was heartbreaking and i felt so rude. Since studying this course, i have been made aware of audist behaviours i have engaged with in the past, such as asking a Deaf person to write down what they want to say (when 1. that's not their preferred communication method, and 2. English isn't necessarily their 1st language) when it would be must easier and less stressful for them if they could communicate their preferred way (which is BSL).

During the lockdown, i decided to study British Sign Language because i am currently out of work and have lots of time on my hands, and i figured i may as well learn something i've always wanted to do. I'm hoping i can use this in a future career for me as i want to work within a childcare or healthcare setting as my passion is to help others.

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