Yesterday, as part of my course representative training at the University of Leicester, I went to an introduction to British Sign Language (BSL) and I loved it. Learning BSL had been on my wish list for some time, and I was so happy that I was given the opportunity to go to a free introduction.
Hearing loss is an issue that affects a very large part of the UK population and yet so few of us know how to communicate with deaf people. In the UK in 2015, there were over 11 million people with hearing loss. 11 million!!!! That is one in six people in the UK who have difficulties communicating with the rest of the population. And I think it’s such a shame that BSL is not more known amongst the hearing population.
This is why I am so thankful that the University of Leicester has Languages at Leicester (LAL). LAL gives language classes to students and those in the Leicester community at a very affordable price, languages including Arabic, Japanese, and BSL. Unfortunately, since this is my final semester, I will not be able to sign up for BSL classes as I will be too busy panicking over my exams and dissertation. However, I will be singing up to BSL online course on the official BSL website, prices start from £19.99. I am so excited to finish all my exams and start my online BSL course!!!
I think that learning BSL is very important as it allows us to communicate with others in our community who may feel separate from the hearing world. And it is also important in terms of employability as it is an extra language, and I’m sure most companies would love to have employees who know BSL.