Archive for category: Articles of interest

Exciting new Deaf children’s TV series: Are YOU Up For It?

Are you young, Deaf, talented? Are you Up For It? Join the crew!

Up For It? is the British Sign Language Broadcasting Trust’s new children’s series aimed at primary aged children, although people of all ages will want to see the showcase of child Deaf talent in the first series of 10×14 minute programmes.

The series was made for the BSLBT by Flashing Lights Media. It features three young new Deaf BSL using presenters; Nadeem Islam, Mia Ward and Rosie Benn and their dog, Twiks.

In each episode, we meet a mystery hot seat guest – a talented deaf child aged 6-15 – and the presenters have to guess what their special skill or hobby is. When all is revealed, the young guest chooses one of the presenters to go with them to learn about their hobby and do a challenge related to it… often pushing the presenters to their limits!

The BSLBT is keeping the skills and talents of the young hot seat guests very secret so that viewers can have fun guessing each week.

Kerena Marchant, BSLBT’s Head of Content, said: “It has always been my strong view, as a maker of children’s programmes and a commissioner, that children themselves should be at the heart of children’s programmes. Children want to see

themselves or their peers on the screen! Up For It? certainly delivers that – it is a showcase for Deaf children and young Deaf talent.”This groundbreaking series is so strong that it has already been nominated for Deaffest 2017 awards, including Best Programme.

Up For It? was commissioned by BSLBT and produced by Flashing Lights Media: TRANSMISSION SCHEDULE:

Up For It? will be broadcast for 5 weeks, with 2×14 minute programmes broadcast back to back each week. Starting on Thursday 2nd March at 7.30pm on the

Community Channel, weekly transmission times are as follows

– Thursdays at 7.30pm on the Community Channel (Freeview HD 63, Sky 539,Virgin 269, Freesat 651)
– Saturdays at 7.30am on the Community Channel (Sky 539, Virgin 269, Freesat 651)
– Mondays at 8am on Film4 (Freeview 15, Sky 315, Virgin 428, Freesat 300)
– Tuesdays at 2pm on the Community Channel (Freeview HD 63, Sky 539, Virgin 269, Freesat 651)

Each pair of programmes will also be available to watch at any time on the BSL Zone website,, straight after their initial broadcast. Viewers will also find plenty of extra activities, sneak peeks ‘behind the scenes’ and resources at

You can find a promotional video (in BSL with English subtitles) here:

For more information about Up For It?, contact:
Kerena Marchant, BSLBT’s Head of Content, at (production related enquiries)
Jen Dodds, BSLBT’s Digital Editor, at (general enquiries)

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NHS: Would you like to help make autism assessments better for deaf children?

Why are we doing this?  We want to make autism assessments better for deaf children so that families can be offered the best help, support and advice.

Who can be involved? We are looking for families with children aged 2-18 years old in the following groups:

• Deaf children with no ASD
• Deaf children with ASD
• Hearing children with ASD

(ASD = Autism Spectrum Disorder)

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The right of the deaf child to grow up bilingual – SLFirst Magazine

The SLFirst Deaf Magazine​ has this week covered the work of Francois Grosjean on the right of the deaf child to grow up bilingual. This is an article that should be made mandatory reading for all and especially new parents of deaf children, audiologists and anyone in power. More needs to be done to provide sign language training for new parents, carers and families of deaf babies.

An extract from the article “What is the role of sign language? Sign language must be the first language (or one of the first two languages) acquired by children who have a severe hearing loss. It is a natural, full-fledged language that ensures full and complete communication. Unlike an oral language, it allows the young deaf child and his/her parents to communicate early, and fully, on the condition that they acquire it quickly. Sign language will play an important role in the deaf child’s cognitive and social development and it will help him/her acquire knowledge about the world.”

Full article here: SL First Deaf Magazine

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Enabling communication is vital in families of deaf children

Written by Charlie Swinbourne/, Sunday 15 January 2012 13.59 GMT

Families need to learn to sign for the sake of their deaf children – yet they are often denied the chance

Charlie Swinbourne’s daughter learns to sign Photograph: Charlie Swinbourne

In the last few weeks, a video of a deaf mother and her two year-old daughter Ava having a dinner conversation in British Sign Language (BSL) has gone viral. It has been tweeted, shared and blogged to the extent that the clip now has more than 150,000 views online. The video shows the level of understanding and communication that a child using sign language can reach when they have access to language from an early age.

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Family sign language video goes global

NDCS campaigner and proud Dad, Nick Beese, recently did some filming in support of NDCS’s Sign Up campaign to ensure all families have access to family sign language. Here’s an amazingly sweet clip featuring daughter Ava chatting with her Mum:

I’m not alone in loving this video; the video has gone viral on youtube and the last time I looked it has nearly 800,000 hits. When I looked this morning, it was around 400,000.

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Sign Language and Bilingualism

Discovering a different form of bilingualism
Published on March 27, 2011 by Francois Grosjean, Ph.D. in Life as a Bilingual

All language scientists have a wow moment in their profession. Mine was when I was introduced to sign language and to the world of the Deaf. I was simply overwhelmed by the beauty of this visual gestural language as well as by the history of Deaf people.

Many myths still surround sign language such as that it is universal (in fact, there are as many sign languages as there are Deaf communities), that it is speech on the hands (as a visual gestural linguistic system it is in many ways very different from a spoken language), that it only expresses concrete notions (one simply needs to look at sign poetry to understand how very rich and symbolic it can be), and so on.

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Welcome to silence

Can a hearing person ever really know what it is like to be deaf? Sam Wollaston spends 24 hours with a deaf family – meal times, school run, play and discipline – and discovers what it feels like to be the one who can’t understand.


Ramon Woolfe teaches his daughter Layla, 3, how to sign the word ‘owl’. Photographer: Sam Frost

I should have been prepared for it, I suppose – the silence. But it strikes me immediately. And, to begin with, I find it difficult. Here is a family behaving exactly as every other family in the country behaves every morning – having breakfast, getting ready for school, putting the wrong shoes on the wrong feet, not wanting to put coats on. But someone has hit the mute button, and it is all happening in silence.

Well, not quite. After a while other, non-conversation sounds – the hum of the fridge, birdsong outside, the crunch of cereal being munched – begin to emerge out of what I originally mistook for silence. All that is missing is the conversation, the talking, whining, yelling etc that normally goes with such a family situation. It is like a song with the lyrics removed.

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