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I decided to write my essay on British Sign Language being taught in school. This is because both of my parents are profoundly deaf which means they can’t hear at all, another reason I decided to do this topic is because I have realised how much of a problem it has become.
It might come to a surprise to learn that nearly all communication is non-verbal and only a little bit is verbal. Over half of the non-verbal communication is body language and just under half is tone of voice. This shows how much communication is not verbal. It matters because I don’t think we understand how lucky hearing people are, deaf pupils often struggle in school because
they can’t get proper help from their teachers as they might not understand each other.
Sign Language is a language that uses hand gestures and body language. These are different ways of communication that deaf or hard of hearing people use to communicate with people. There is not really any other way to communicate with people who are deaf other than Sign Language. Some deaf people are what you might call ‘mute’, which means they use Sign Language but don’t use speech. Other deaf people may use speech, most deaf people either use hearing aids or have a cochlear implant which can help you hear. My parents use sign language when communicating with one another but with my siblings and me they mostly use speech, but we still use Sign Language to communicate with them.
Scottish schools and schools in general should teach British Sign Language. By teaching BSL it would open doors for the deaf community and it would reduce a lot of language barriers between deaf and hearing people. The more people learning BSL through education means that it would give deaf people a wider selection to further education and good jobs.
Deaf people are bully victims. They are easy targets to bullies, they are vulnerable. People think they can be easily picked on because they are deaf. It is not their fault that they cannot hear. It is harder for them to communicate with people. For example, their parents, carers, teachers and peers. This is why we need to teach sign language in schools so then they are able to talk about things. Deaf children are singled out all the time for not being able to join in on conversations and are left out because they cannot hear like their classmates and other pupils. It is also difficult because they may find it harder to learn as they can’t get it explained properly.
Employment is also a big issue for the deaf community as companies mainly look for people who can communicate to customers without struggle, for example, in shopping markets. Not very many employers think about deaf people. They forget that there are hearing aids and most deaf people can talk with people and can understand them. I find it unfair that employers don’t tend to employ people with disabilities because they would rather have people who are able to do the job correctly. They don’t take into consideration what they are capable of.
By teaching sign language in school it can help deaf awareness, with young people growing up and learning it together there wouldn’t be a problem with bullying or employability. It can help stop bullying or at least it will reduce bullying significantly.
Bullying is more common in school whether it be primary school or secondary school. My mum once told me that when she was in school she was bullied really badly and she couldn’t speak up about it and when she told her teachers they didn’t do anything about it. When she finally stood up for herself the bullies backed off and left her alone. My dad told us that when he was in school he would get picked on by other pupils but the people who picked on him the most were his teachers. He couldn’t do anything about it either and he suffered all the way through school with no help at all.
I think that deaf awareness is better than it used to be but it still isn’t good enough. In the end teaching sign language will be the best for everyone, there would be less bullying, there would be less language barriers meaning communication will be easier between hearing people and deaf people.
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