Pupils, students, and staff across Doncaster Deaf Trust will be celebrating Sign Language Week (March 13 – 19) to mark the 20th anniversary of the recognition of British Sign Language (BSL) by the British Government in 2003.
As part of the celebrations and in a bid to raise Deaf Awareness in the city a team from the Trust have been out and about running sessions for organisations including the physiotherapy team at Doncaster Royal Infirmary.
The Deaf Awareness sessions include an overview of Deafness and the different ways in which people communicate as well as an introduction to BSL with basic greetings, questions and the BSL alphabet enabling people to learn how to spell their name and finishes with top communication tips.
Alexis Johnson, chief executive of Doncaster Deaf Trust said: “Sign Language Week is an important week for our pupils at Doncaster School for the Deaf, students at Communication Specialist College and staff.
“It gives us a great opportunity to raise the profile of BSL and show the importance that this language plays in the lives of Deaf people and their families.
“As well as marking the 20th anniversary of BSL being recognised by the government we are also celebrating that on April 28, 2022, BSL was recognised in law as an indigenous language of Great Britain in the BSL Act (2022).
“During Sign Language Week our pupils and students will be sharing videos about why they are proud to be Deaf.
“Our team will also be delivering Deaf Awareness sessions.”
Josh Nicholson, Senior MSK Physiotherapist, Doncaster Royal Infirmary, said: “I arranged the training as both my parents are Deaf, and I thought it would be good to get the team to learn sign language as a skill to learn but to also help them when they have Deaf patients.
“The team really enjoyed the session and learned some basic sign language which will help them to communicate with Deaf patients.
“We are now looking to get as many of the other teams in our department to do the training so as a department we can all become Deaf Aware and learn sign language.”