Deaf Awareness week ran from 15 May 2017 until 22 May 2017. During this week our Louise Edgar, Paralegal, taught one of her friends, Fiona McGhee, a Primary School Teacher, the British Sign Language (BSL) Manual Alphabet. Louise is qualified in British Sign Language Levels 1 and 2 and previously took part in “Quest for a Language”, a course covering BSL and deaf culture.
After teaching her the alphabet, Louise set Fiona a challenge: she had to teach the alphabet to one of her classes. Fiona took this challenge one step further! Fiona is a teacher at Bothwell Primary in South Lanarkshire. She taught one of her classes and asked the pupils to teach one person that they knew. The pupils at Fiona’s school loved it so much she was asked to teach the whole primary school at assembly. Instead of Fiona teaching one person, she taught 305!
As Louise had started the ball rolling with the challenge she was invited to the school to teach them a bit more about deaf awareness and help them learn a few more signs. Our Pamela Bradshaw, who is fluent in sign language, went with her to lend a hand (or two!).
Over the course of the day Pamela and Louise went to visit Primaries three to seven. The children were asked to think about how they would approach someone who was deaf or hard of hearing and what they would do (or not do!) when communicating with them. There was time to learn a few new signs (the days of the week, animals and family members) and to play a guessing game with the signs for some countries (some a bit more obvious than others!) and plenty of time for questions at the end. We had some lovely feedback from Fiona following the day:
“I asked Louise and Pamela to come in as visitors during our Health Week and they did some amazing work with 8 classes ranging from Primary 3 to Primary 7. They taught the children the British Sign Language alphabet, some everyday phrases and explained what life is like for a deaf person. They also took the time to answer the children’s many and varied questions.
This was a fantastic learning opportunity for the children and it fitted in perfectly with our theme of “Inclusion” throughout May and June.”
A special thank you must go to the school for allowing us to visit and to the children who were more than happy to participate!
At Jackson Boyd we have experience of working with clients with a hearing loss. We understand that this can be a very difficult time for them. We are used to dealing with cases that have changed a client’s life significantly and therefore understand the difficulties and frustrations that they are experiencing. We consider that it is very important for people to be deaf aware in these situations. Louise’s challenge has resulted in over 300 people having a greater understanding of deaf awareness.