Sign Language Week will be running from 14th - 20th March 2022 and is run on an annual basis by the British Deaf Association (BDA). It is celebrated each year in March to coincide with the anniversary of the recognition of BSL by the British Government in 2003.
The theme for Sign Language Week 2022 is: “BSL Brings Us Together”.
The aim of the campaign is to encourage people of all ages across the UK to take up the challenge of learning BSL for themselves and finding out more about the language and culture of the Deaf, Deafblind and hard of hearing British people for whom BSL is their first or preferred language.
The positive impact of BSL on thousands of Deaf and hard of hearing people are often underappreciated. Our goal is to make everyone realise the importance of BSL, and how awareness can make a big difference.
Get involved - you can follow and interact with the campaign across social media, don't forget to use hashtag (#SLWEEK2022) and tag @SignatureDeaf and @BDA_Deaf
British Sign Language is predominantly used by people who are either deaf or have a hearing impairment.British Sign Language (BSL) is the preferred language of over 87,000 Deaf people in the UK. There are a total of 151,000 individuals in the UK who can use BSL - this figure does not include professional BSL users, Interpreters, Translators, etc unless they use BSL at home.
Signature has hundreds of centres across the UK, including many that now offer online courses.To find your local Signature centre enter your postcode in the centre finder a little further down this page.
Signature is the leading awarding body for deaf communications qualifications in the UK.Since beginning our work to promote and teach British Sign Language (BSL), we have supported more than 460,000 people to learn the British Sign Language. We create qualifications that provide our learners with the skills they need to build successful careers. While as a charitable organisation, we work tirelessly to improve communication, by creating learning opportunities for every stage of life. Signature was named ‘Awarding Organisation of the Year’ at the 2019 FAB Awards. The FAB Awards are run by the Federation of Awarding Bodies.
Myth 1: All signs across the country are the sameIncorrect, just like English, BSL has regional variations Myth 2: BSL has the same legal status as English Incorrect - since March 2003, BSL has been an officially recognised language but still has no legal protection. There is currently a BSL Bill going through Parliament as a private members bill that aims to give legal protection to the language. The 3rd reading for this will take place on Friday 18th March 2022 - Click here to find out more about the bill Myth 3: BSL is just like Makaton Incorrect - Unlike Makaton, BSL has it's own grammar, word order and regional variations. Myth 4: All deaf people use BSL Incorrect - of the approximate 12 million deaf people, around 87,000 use BSL. Myth 5: Sign Language is a universal language Incorrect - There is no universal sign language. Different sign languages are used in different countries or regions.
If you have been inspired to learn British Sign Language with Signature, you can find a centre in your local area that currently offers our qualifications. You can find the centre search tool here.
In 2019, to help raise awareness of BSL, we have enlisted the help of friends of Signature, MP’s, celebrities, sports clubs and notable organisations to create a short BSL video for us to share on social media.We hope that this shows that support and understanding of BSL continues to grow, and that opportunities for people to get involved and learn are now more accessible than ever. You can see some of the Organisations, celebrities and MP's who have got involved below.