Learn British Sign Language

British Sign Language (BSL)

North East Derbyshire District Council has teamed up with the British Deaf Association to help residents in the District learn a new skill while in lockdown – British Sign Language (BSL).

The campaign aims to teach people the basics of BSL with short video clips of key words, phrases and how to learn the alphabet.

British Sign Language (BSL) - Videos

The campaign kicks off with a video showing how to sign ‘Clap for our NHS’ where residents and their children can learn and share on social media their sign language skills by tagging the Authorities social media accounts or using the hashtag #NewSkillChallenge

It is estimated that there are around 9 million people in the UK who are Deaf or hard of hearing and Derbyshire has the second highest population of deaf residents in the UK.

It is hoped this new campaign will help children and parents learn a vital new skill, whilst having fun together, as a family, and sharing their efforts with the local community to inspire others to join in during the lockdown period.

Leader of the Council, Councillor Martin Thacker, MBE, said: “Whilst we are all in lockdown together, this campaign is a fantastic way to help our residents and their children learn a vital new skill which can be so much fun to do together as a family, but also have a great impact on raising the awareness of the importance of British Sign Language”.

“We would love to see our residents taking part – and this starts tonight with our introduction of the campaign ‘Clap for our NHS’ video. We all want to show our support to key workers and what a great way to do this by learning a new, vital skill such as BSL whilst we are all staying safe in our homes”.

“I cannot thank the British Deaf Association enough for supporting us in this campaign to raise awareness of BSL and empower our next generation of potential British Sign Language tutors”.

The campaign will launch 9 April inviting residents and their children to learn to sign and share videos of their efforts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #NewSkillChallenge or tagging the local authorities’ social media accounts.

The Authorities campaign will be posting learn to sign videos daily on social media from Tuesday 14 April.

Video Relay Service

Did you know you can contact the Council via video relay service. You can sign to a BSL interpreter through your laptop or smartphone who will relay your message to the Council and interpret the Council’s response into BSL. More information on contacting the Council via video relay service can be found on our British Sign Language Interpreter Service page.