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Posted On: 25th Apr 2013

Sign of the Times

Vicki teaching sign language at the Fixers Northern Ireland launch
Vicki next to Paula Bradley MLA and Trevor Clarke MLA at the Fixers NI launch

A Fixer, who learnt sign language from her deaf friend when she was a teenager, wants to develop a resource for teachers to pass on these skills to primary school pupils.


Vicki Kane of Magherefelt, Northern Ireland thinks communicating with people who are deaf or have partial hearing is as important as speaking another language.


The 24-year-old, who met her friend in her early teens, says basic sign language is essential for everyday life.


Working with Fixers, Vicki hopes to encourage primary schools to teach children basic sign language.


‘We’re taught how to speak different languages, so learning sign language should be just as important.


‘I want to create a resource that helps teachers deliver lessons in British Sign Language to KS2 pupils at primary schools,' Vicki explains.

‘Having learnt through a friend from an early age, knowing sign language has allowed me to converse with people who have hearing difficulties in personal, social and professional situations.

‘Young people should be able to develop at least a basic competence in sign language in order to be able to communicate with anyone they encounter with a hearing impairment.’


Although Vicki wants her Fixers resource to target primary school teachers and parents in particular, she believes the wider public would benefit from learning sign language.


‘Just a basic understanding of sign language is enough to at least communicate with someone who is deaf or hard of hearing. With the help of Fixers, I aim to increase awareness and do something to change this problem.’



Author: N. Farooq


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