This is a question we’re often asked.
Q: I have noticed my hearing declining. I am 70. Do you have many people my age learning sign language in your classes?
A: You are definitely not alone. In the UK more than 40% of people over 50 years old are affected by hearing loss, increasing to over 70% of people age 70+.
Hearing loss can lead to a reluctance to take part in social activities, to feeling left out of conversations, isolation and loneliness.
If you haven’t already, see your GP and ask for a referral to an NHS audiologist. Currently fewer than half of people who could benefit from hearing aids have them. There is also the option of visiting a private audiologist.
You would not be the only person your age who has studied with us. At Dot Sign Language we are contacted by more and more people who alongside wearing hearing aids, want to learn British Sign Language (BSL) to aid communication.
Often this is when they know their hearing will continue to decrease and they want to prepared. BSL is the language of the British Deaf community. It is a visual language using handshapes, facial expressions and body language which has evolved over hundreds of years. Not only does learning BSL enable communication, classes are a social place to meet other people in the same situation. Many students meet up to practice and form new friendships.
A Level 1 course will enable you to sign and understand BSL in everyday situations with family and friends such as shopping, ordering food and discussing interests. There is the option to take assessments and gain a qualification, but this is not compulsory; you can learn for interest.
If you would like to know more, just email us: email@example.com