Around 466 million people worldwide have disabling hearing loss.World Health Organisation
Hearing loss causes difficulty hearing sounds including speech and music. It can range from mild to profound and can affect just one ear or both. People who are deaf usually have profound hearing loss. There are many causes including genetic factors, infection, exposure to excessive noise, and ageing.
Having hearing loss can impact on a persons life as it can make it much more difficult to communicate. This is where Sign Language comes in, this is a visual form of communication that uses body language and hand gestures to converse. In the UK, our most common form of Sign Language is British Sign Language (BSL), which has been recognised as an official language since 2003. Sign Language differs across the UK, similar to accents and slang, as well as varying across different countries and languages.
When I was younger my mum took a BSL course, I always remember her coming home and teaching me things that she had learnt. This then inspired me to take BSL as my extra curriculum activity during my college years and I achieved a BSL101 which is an introductory level. It was really exciting for me to learn this and it has helped me to assist people who are deaf. My favourite part of learning BSL was the alphabet, this is something that has stuck with me.
I spent some time teaching my friend the basics that I was taught and surprisingly this morning she greeted me in Sign Language. Learning Sign Language, even just the basics, can encourage more understanding, whether a person is hearing or hearing impaired. There are many ways to learn, you can research and teach yourself online, sign up for a online course or sign up for workshops and courses in groups. Just learning the basics could help someone else.
Have a nice day!