Jump to content

Recommended Posts

I have three main reasons for why I've decided to learn BSL and why I'm doing it now.

Firstly, it's a language I've occasionally thought about trying to learn over the years. I always feel somewhat feeble for only speaking English (as well as tiny smattering of French half remembered from GCSE getting on 30 years ago), and have wanted to learn at least one other language for many years. 

Secondly, as I mentioned in my introduction post, I volunteer at a foodbank and have done so for nearly 8 years. We've had a few Deaf people come to us for help in that time, and we've really struggled to communicate. At best, that's awkward and embarrassing for the Deaf person, frustrating for us, and disappointing that we can't provide the same level of service to all our clientele. At worst, someone could be seriously ill or die due to an allergy not being properly communicated. So, I figure having someone who can sign, at least at a very basic level, would be a great benefit to the foodbank and any Deaf clients.

Thirdly, I think it's an absolute bloody disgrace that throughout the pandemic the British Government has not bothered to provide sign language interpreters for the extremely important briefings that have been given. The Scottish and Welsh Governments manage to have signers, numerous countries around the world have had signers. You get a tornado in East Emptyville in Kentucky or wherever and the chances are the local government there will have an American Sign Language interpreter to hand. And yet the British Government (who've just spent £2.6 million on a new press briefing room at No 10) can't be bothered to allow the tens of thousands of British citizens who have BSL as their first language to properly access the briefings in the way we hearing folks are able to. That has been really, really annoying me for the last year, so to be quite honest, it's what prompted me to finally get round to committing to learning a new language and that language being BSL. It's my form of protest against the government excluding the Deaf community from such critical information.

Finally, I also like the idea of being able to provide random assistance to any stranger who might be struggling. Whether it's someone in a shop who can't understand what the shop assistant is saying to them because they're wearing a mask (not a criticism of wearing masks!), or someone dealing with the police who don't realise they can't hear and think they're drugged or being awkward (a well known problem for people with hearing problems).

I suppose ultimately it's an acknowledgement of the social model of disability and my attempt at making a very, very small contribution to addressing that. For those unfamiliar with the term, in very basic terms, the social model of disability holds that a person is disabled more by the way the world is structured (everything from the way cities are built to societal attitudes) rather than by any medical conditions or differences they have. 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Latest Posts

    • Hi I am interested if you don’t mind 
    • Hi I am learning BSL for my work as a health care assistant I am doing BSL level 1 I really enjoy learning I wear hearing aids so hard of hearing 
    • Hi - new learner ( later in life perhaps - I’m 50+ ) have done about 3 months BSL with an awesome teacher and am looking for practice buddies - i find the dexterity and speed of fluent speakers amazing - I’m really really slow 😂 - the key I’m told is practice practice and more practice - I’d love to have a video chat buddy to practice with. Please drop me a line if interested. I’m a company owner in the technology / social value / climate sector. 
    • Hey, I work as an Early years practitioner for the NHS where we use Makaton within our setting. Although I am enjoying learning and using Makaton I decided I wanted to try learning BSL. Although I am only about to start lesson 5, so far so good with the BSL, in fact I love it! and now we have a child who has a hearing difficulty. I am hard on myself ensuring I am very sure of the signs I have learnt before using them at work. I often recap previous lessons to confirm my retainment and set myself (what I call) a remember challenge for words that are challenging for me to memorise which I have found useful. I am already finding that I can read some language signed on television and feel very excited / proud. This leaves me thinking, within inclusion, why is BSL not on the curriculum for children to learn at school?        
    • Great this is very appreciable. I personally believe learning anything new in life is our achievement, so whether we use this language or not, we should give a try learning BSL.   _____________________________________ Anthony Constantinou
    • A friend of mine is a Clairvoyant and she had this person appear when she was with clients.  He seems to be using a form of sign language, but I have no idea what it is. Can anyone clarify what the hands are saying? Your help is greatly appreciated. Penelope  
    • Okay cool!  Discord is like an app that is really good for "group chats". You can use it on a computer too. I will message you the invite link to the server (think of a server like a group chat) I have made. It will guide you to make a discord account and then join you into the server! Slow is okay
    • Hi,  group chat good idea.  What is discord?    I am fully hearing but always had an interest in BSL and final got round to beginning to learn.  Bit slow going as have to fit it in around work & home life. 
  • Fingerspelling Scoreboard

    (top 10 - past 24hrs)

  • Fingerspelling Animation Maker

  • Create New...