How to get started with signing
Hearing loss can affect everything from your relationships with family and friends to a simple trip to the supermarket. The good news is that simple tips and signs can really help aid communication and make a big difference to people’s lives.
THE POWER OF SIGN
With almost 70,000 hearing-impaired people in the UK using British Sign Language (BSL), it is something we can all benefit from learning more about.
But remember, learning to sign is like learning a foreign language – some people will pick it up more quickly than others, and it can take years to become fluent.
TIPS AND TRICKS
BSL has its own syntax and grammar, and differs from other recorded versions of signing — for example, from American
Sign Language (ASL).
Even while you are learning to sign, there are some simple tricks that can help you hugely when you meet a hearingimpaired person.
First, ensure you’re in a quiet space, and away from any TV, radio or other background noise. Make sure you smile and keep eye contact, and be careful not to cover your mouth. Use your hands to help you point, gesture and explain things, and also use a pen and paper – or even a voice-recognition app on your phone – to help you communicate.