[Description and Transcript:]
Short title page with pink background and IWD in large bold white letters
International Week of the Deaf text appears below.
A family sits in their living room with 2 young girls playing on a colourful rug. The girls pick a colour on the rug and the 2 men and 1 woman raise their hands in Deaf applause. Everyone is smiling.
The image blurs and white text appears.
Text: ‘Family Signing in the Home’ is a project which offers tailored Sign Language classes in the home, for families with Deaf children.
Once their programme was completed, we asked what they thought.
This is what they said…
The background changes to a blurred image of 3 people sitting at a kitchen table
Text: What do you wish you had known when your child was diagnosed?
The image becomes clear and a man says:
When Ethan was diagnosed, I wish we’d been given…more information about the Deaf organisations that were out there. Maybe, more Deaf role models, organisations that could help us.
While the man is speaking, the image cuts to a family are sitting at a table with 3 children, 2 parents and the Sign Language teacher. The teacher signs to the children, asking their names.
We didn’t know Sign Language or that Sign Language was an option.
A woman sits on a green sofa in a living room, with an interpreter beside her.
I would have liked to have known what lies ahead for Daniel. I would have like to have known what options were available for him. We were unaware of almost everything…We had a lot of negativity put towards us as to what Daniel wouldn’t be able to do, nothing about what he would be able to do.
A Sign Language teacher stands in a living room with a family of 6. She has got a white board with pictures of various foods on it. The teacher and family are signing to each other.
It was just…scary, because this tiny baby and we didn’t know what to do with him. He couldn’t hear me. Now look at him. He’s grown up. He’s proved them all wrong. He’s … just amazing. And, he’s so bright.
A woman sits at a table, with a man standing behind her. There is an interpreter sitting beside them.
At that stage, we would have like to have already known Sign Language, or at least, get taught it a wee bit sooner.
The family sit on the floor in the living room with grey sofas, and the sign language tutor points at images on the floor. He signs to the family.
He was wearing his hearing aids and found it very hard to communicate, and constantly taking them out. Yeah, so it would have been easier if we had known then how to do it. How to do some basic signs and helped with his development sooner.
A young teenage girl wearing glasses sits on an armchair, with an interpreter perched on the arm of the chair.
I was born Deaf. Growing up, I wish I had learned Sign Language, and met Deaf inspirers. And, it’s helped me learn about Deaf culture and it’s helped me learn about my identity. It has helped me with my confidence in school.
A blurred image of 3 people sitting at a table with white text
Text: How has Family Sign in the Home helped you or your child?
The image becomes clear and shows 3 people sitting at a kitchen table with a picture behind them. The interpreter sits in the middle signing what is being spoken.
I think that Family Sign in the Home has helped my family and my deaf child to communicate better. Ben would not talk when we were out and about as he was very aware of his deafness, and it’s a good way for us to communicate when we’re out and around. He gets everything he needs or wants and he can make his points clear to us which we wouldn’t be able to understand if it wasn’t for Family Signing.
A woman sits on an arm chair with an interpreter sitting perched on the arm of the chair.
I think it has benefited us because she feels more included because we can understand what she is telling us now, you know, instead of going ‘what are you moving your hands for because I’m not understanding it’ and it means whenever we’re out shopping and she’s at a distance, we can sign to her, “We’re leaving this shop and going to another shop”. So, it’s made a lot of… it’s helped a hell of a lot with us and family life and doing different things.
A woman sits on a chair in front of a window; the interpreter sits beside her and is signing what is being spoken.
It has helped Jacob communicate they all absolutely love doing it, the children have picked up on it really quickly, really well.
The scene cuts to a sign language tutor and a young boy sitting on the floor playing a game with cards. They sign each of the words to each other and the tutor praises the boy. The scene then cuts back to the woman in the chair with the interpreter beside her.
We don’t always understand what Jacob is trying to say. So, we can ask him. He’s picked up fingerspelling really well, so we can ask him to fingerspell what he’s trying to say or ask him to sign what he’s trying to say. And, there are times where he just prefers to sign now, but just because it’s fun for him and a different way of communicating.
A blurred image of a woman sitting on a chair beside a window with an interpreter sitting beside her, with white text
Text: Do you think other families would benefit from Family Sign in the Home project?
The image becomes clear, and the woman speaks with the interpreter signing:
Absolutely. As a family, with a deaf child, it was shocking for us to discover that it’s not automatically offered upon diagnosis. We’re lucky with Jacob because he has a moderate hearing loss.
The scene cuts to parents sitting at a kitchen table with a young boy on their knees with an interpreter beside them. The man asks the young boy to sign his name. They young boy responds in sign.
Families of children with a profound hearing loss… it’s just really sad that they’re not able to communicate with their children and if they want to learn, a lot of them have to pay.
The scene cuts to a family sitting in a living room with a sign language tutor and a man sitting signing to each other. The tutor looks at the room, and smiles.
The scene cuts again to a family sitting in a living room with a colourful rug. The 2 young girls are playing with the colours on the floor.
We’re lucky that we have been offered this class and that we’ve found out about it. We’ve all really enjoyed it, but it should really be offered to a lot more people.
The scene cuts again to a family sitting at a kitchen table with their sign language tutor signing to each other and laughing.
The government should offer upon diagnosis… and, it just helps with communication immensely. For children who are profoundly deaf, parents need to be able to communicate with them. You don’t automatically know Sign Language if you’re from a hearing family, and it would be very beneficial for families to learn sign.
The video ends with a white closing image with the British Deaf Association Logo, and www.bda.org.uk below with the text:
‘The BDA stands for Deaf Equality Access and Freedom of Choice’. The letters D E A F are in red to highlight them
BDA understand that it is crucial for Deaf children to have the right to early access and exposure to Sign Language.
Our Family Signing in the Home project allows for Deaf children to learn sign language in their own home, with their families, creating a more inclusive environment for everyone. Have a look at the impact that Sign Language has had on the lives of these families.
“World Federation of the Deaf
Sign language is a language deaf children can learn naturally. However, as 95% of deaf children are born to hearing parents who usually don’t know sign language, most of those children receive late exposure to sign language resulting in late cognitive development and less chance to acquire language proficiency. Early access to sign language and quality inclusive education through a national sign language and national written language for all deaf children is fundamental to ensuring their human rights. To secure this right, families of deaf children must receive state-funded sign language instruction as early as possible.
In addition, deaf children have the right to receive education in their natural language through quality inclusive bilingual education in a national sign language and national written language. Teachers must be fluent in sign languages with a native-level proficiency and deaf children must be surrounded by their deaf peers and deaf adult role models. These settings are crucial to the development of their identity.