Campaign For Sign Language To Be Taught In Schools

A deaf West Yorkshire woman is calling for it to be an option for pupils.

Aliko Sichinga, a 20-year-old deaf woman from Leeds, is launching a nationwide campaign for British Sign Language (BSL) to be taught in schools.

A survey of more than 2,000 deaf and hearing young people across the UK, which Aliko helped to design, found 97% think BSL should be taught in schools and 92% want it to be offered as a GCSE.

BSL is not on the national curriculum, there’s no option to study it as a GCSE and private lessons are expensive. The survey findings show this is not just a deaf issue; respondents with no hearing impairment actually showed more interest in learning BSL than deaf respondents.[1]

Aliko said: “We want everyone to be able to learn BSL because it is our right to be able to communicate with everyone we meet.”

Susan Daniels, Chief Executive of the National Deaf Children’s Society, added: “If we are to break down barriers to learning BSL, it must be on the national curriculum. This survey shows that children and young people really want to learn BSL, so we urge the Department for Education to respond to this demand.”

Aliko has launched her campaign to mark Deaf Awareness Week (15-21 May 2017).

Aliko is asking anyone who supports her to sign a petition so that she can go to the Department for Education and ask them to put BSL on the national curriculum.

To support Aliko and the Right to Sign campaign, go to buzz.org.uk/righttosign

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