A petition set up by an 18-year-old campaigner is calling for all schools to teach basic sign language.
Jade Kilduff’s inspiration for launching the campaign is the powerful story of how sign language helped to transformed her younger brother’s life.
Per Sky News, four-year-old Christian – who has brain damage and cerebral palsy – and his family, were told that he would never be able to communicate. Jade spent two years teaching him sign language, and says that many people would have to communicate through her when talking to Christian.
Watch this father sign a wedding song for a deaf bride:
“Christian communicates by using sign language and a lot of people when talking to Christian would have to talk through me,” she told Sky News:
“And I thought it was unfair that he could only communicate to me and a few of our family members and I thought if everybody just knew a little bit of sign then it would make the world more inclusive.”
And her petition is reportedly close to an amazing 100,000 signatures. According to Sky News, 12 million people in the United Kingdom are living with hearing loss, while 50,000 children have hearing impairments. Despite this, few mainstream schools teach British Sign Language.
You can watch an interview with Jade Kilduff here:
A spokesperson for the Department for Education told Sky News in response to the petition;
“We are firmly committed to ensuring that children with SEND (special educational needs and disability), including hearing impairments, receive the support they need in early years, at school and at college.
“Schools have the freedom to include British Sign Language (BSL) in their curriculum if they wish to do so, and we are working towards a BSL GCSE which will be introduced as soon as it possible, subject to meeting GCSE requirements.”