Deaf Awareness Week, 2 – 8 May 2016

This year the theme is ‘Common Purpose’.

So what is Deaf Awareness week all about? 

It is about organisations and charities, with a common purpose, supporting deafness, by raising awareness of their goals, ambitions and aspirations. Its about promoting social inclusion and positive aspects of deafness.

For Dot Sign Language, Deaf Awareness Week is an opportunity to further its primary aim of ‘improving communication and understanding between D/deaf and hearing people through educational, social and cultural activities’.

This year we have decided to do this in a very practical way by sponsoring and organising a BSL workshop session to be held on Wednesday 4th May, 7.30 til 9.30 pm.

This workshop will focus on developing a British Sign Language vocabulary for skiers and instructors.

How do we hope to do this?                                       skier2

We have invited along Deaf and hearing skiers and ski instructors, and BSL signers who can ski to act as interpreters/CSWs.  It will be a social event with a relaxed atmosphere, as well as a workshop. Most will have skiing in common – ‘a common purpose’. So we hope that everyone will gain confidence and communicate with each other in BSL and/or English, with or without the use of an interpreter/CSW.

The workshop will be structured:

  • Introductions – informal mingling!
  • Identify terms related to skiing – using a flipchart all can contribute
  • Work in groups to change the terms into BSL
  • Film the vocabulary
  • After the workshop, add subtitles, produce DVD

This DVD can then be made available to skiers and instructors alike. We appreciate that it is not all that is needed for a non-signing instructor to teach a BSL user. But skiing is a very visual sport and some signs are better than none! Also, we hope to encourage our instructors to learn more BSL once they get a taste for it!

This project is a joint effort between Dot Sign Language and the club, Aldershot Snowsports for the Disabled (ASD). ASD already has a good number of Deaf skiers, adults and children, as members.

This workshop may seem very specific, being targeted at just one sport, but the idea could be used as a template for any sport or activity to encourage communication between the Deaf and the hearing communities.

Please contact us for further details if you are interested in attending this workshop.