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Why you should learn sign language

Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,652 Disability Gamechanger
Today, 23rd September, is International Day of Sign Languages. This has been marked by the United Nation with the aim to promote sign language. 
The International Day of Sign Languages is an unique opportunity to support and protect the linguistic identity and cultural diversity of all deaf people and other sign language users. 

In 2020, the World Federation of the Deaf is issuing a Global Leaders Challenge

This challenge aims to promote the use of sign languages by local, national, and global leaders in partnership with national associations of deaf people in each country, as well as other deaf-led organisations.


Do you know sign language?

Despite only knowing the basics, I can't say I'm very good at British Sign Language (BSL). However, there have been numerous times where I have been able to help someone as a result of my limited knowledge.

Around 50,000 people in the UK use British Sign Language. Yet why isn't BSL taught in schools? With 97% of young people in support of BSL being a GCSE, it's surprising that this isn't the case.
BSL was recognised as a language in its own right by the UK government in 2003.

Whilst it is not a mandatory part of the curriculum, schools are free to teach it if they choose to do so.

We recognise and acknowledge that British Sign Language can be a beneficial subject that schools can choose to teach.
However, in 2018 there was breakthrough in the Right to Sign campaign, with the government agreeing that BSL would be a GCSE before 2022. So I guess we will have to wait and see!

Where can I learn sign language?

There are actually a lot of ways that you can learn BSL online or through a course. Here are some of the ways you can pick up the basics:

Do you have any experiences to share? Should everyone be taught sign language? What sign will you learn today? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

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