Sign Language Week 18th – 24th of March.

Organised by the British Deaf Association and celebrated annually in March, Sign Language Week (SLW) is a celebration of British Sign Language (BSL) being recognised as a language in its own right for the first time by the UK Government on 18th March 2003.

In April 2022 The BSL Language Bill was passed into law, meaning BSL is now legally an official language of the UK, which aimed to create more inclusion, equality and understanding by requiring the government departments to facilitate its use and report on how it is being promoted.

The aim of SLW is to educate more people about sign language, for more people to learn it and to pass the skill on to future generations.

BSL is the preferred sign language in the UK and there are currently 12 million adults in the UK who have hearing loss.

To show your support, you are encouraged to wear turquoise blue ‘Go Blue for BSL‘ (inspired by the deaf flag) symbolising unity, pride and support for BSL and Irish sign language (ISL).

Click here to view the SLW toolkit for other ways to show your support.

BSL and ISL are a visual means of communication using handshapes, facial expressions and body language with its own vocabulary and grammar.

Much like accents in spoken language, BSL has regional variations and uses different signs for different words depending on where in the UK you come from.

Many mainstream schools are now teaching BSL to children from foundation age, so that it can become part of daily life, therefore when the children leave school, they should be able to communicate with deaf and non-deaf people with ease.

April 28th will now be known annually as ‘National BSL Day’.
For more about the BSL Act click here

If you are interested in learning BSL, click here to view available courses and information.

Did you know Athona Education offers a referral bonus of £150 for every candidate referred that works with us for 20 days?

If you know anyone who might be interested in teaching or support roles, then get in touch with our team by calling 01277 245 840 or click here to start referring right away.