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Understanding The (Sign) Language!

Sign Language Week is an annual event that will take place this year from the 18th March. It's organised by the British Deaf Association (BDA) to promote awareness of issues affecting sign-language users and the welfare of deaf people in the UK.

Many hearing people have the false impression that Sign Language is a worldwide universal language, however this is not the case! There can even be significant variation from city to city within Britain, known as regional variation, and is similar to the way accents differ across the country. Other countries have their own sign language.

British Sign Language (BSL) is used by an estimated 150,000 adults and children in the UK, used as either their primary or preferred language. It's a visual means of communicating using gestures, facial expression, and body language.

The NHS has a service that BSL users can use to contact NHS 111 where they can speak with a BSL interpreter who will relay your conversation to a 111 advisor and get the user the healthcare advice or services they require. For more information on this useful service visit:

Get involved and celebrate the week by learning BSL yourself!

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