Sign2sing project aims for a Guinness World Record

8 02 2013

Ten-year-old Ruby Tuckley from Wallingford taught sign language to her fellow pupils and staff at St John’s Primary School in Wallingford for a charity world record breaker yesterday (February 6, 2013).

Ruby and her Mum Hannah Bullen, who is deaf, were joined by pupils and SignHealth’s mascot, Olli the monkey for the sign2sing world record breaking attempt on Wednesday February 6.

Jane Ratcliffe, Headteacher at St John’s Primary School on St John’s Road, said: “Ruby taught the whole school, including myself, the signs to ‘sign2sing’. Ruby was particularly keen to get involved with the world record breaker as her Mum is deaf. She even registered the school to take part.

“We were all really excited to be involved in the sign2sing world record breaking attempt for the most people signing and singing a song at the same time. It was a fantastic event.”

Young people from all over the country and overseas signed a song called ‘sign2sing’, which was composed especially for the event.

Steve Powell, Chief Executive at SignHealth, which is the national healthcare charity for deaf people, said: “It’s fantastic that Ruby was so enthusiastic about the event and managed to get the whole school on board to take part. We are thrilled that St John’s Primary School took part in the world record breaking attempt for the first time.

“sign2sing is also a fundraiser for us through a suggested £1 donation from everyone taking part. Children were asked to wear a scarf like Olli the monkey to school on the day of sign2sing and take in their £1 donation.”

The money raised from the event will be used to continue the charity’s work helping to improve the mental and physical health and well-being of deaf people, including deaf children.

Steve continued: “Hundreds of schools from all over the country and overseas registered to take part in our Guinness World Record sign2sing project for the most people signing and singing at the same time.

“They range in size from 30 to 800 pupils, which, from our calculations, means more than 135,000 schoolchildren took part in the event. The exact number of participants will be confirmed by Guinness World Records™ at a later date.

“The previous world record, which we set last year, was 114,277 so we are hoping to have smashed this.

“It has been a truly fantastic event and we’re extremely grateful for everyone who took part. At the moment we’re still counting the money raised but we’re hoping it will make a significant contribution to the work of SignHealth.

“The song, entitled ‘sign2sing’, is also now available for people to download. It can be purchased from iTunes and various other digital music outlets, and costs a maximum of 79 pence per download.

“We hope lots of people will download the song. It would be great to see it in the charts and get even more people talking about sign2sing.”

For more information about sign2sing, please visit the website above or contact SignHealth on 01494 687600. Alternatively, sign2sing is on Twitter at and on Facebook

Swine flu

13 05 2009

I have been wondering about the accessibility of information on swine flu to the deaf community.

Malcolm Bruce MP raised a question asking the Secretary of State for Health what provisions his Department will make to ensure that deaf and hearing-impaired people have access to the same information as hearing people in respect of the National Flu Helpline.

Dawn Primarolo (Minister of State (Public Health), Department of Health) replied:

The Swine Flu Information helpline is automated. It offers recorded information but no interaction with call handlers and is not therefore accessible to deaf or hearing impaired people. However, deaf and hearing-impaired people may access the same information through websites and a British Sign Language version of the swine flu information leaflet, available from the NHS Choices and Directgov websites from Thursday 14 May and on DVD from Wednesday 20 May.

Oh well, as long as we have an internet connection, we will be ok!
NHS : swine flu Q&A
Swine flu information leaflets in BSL
Swine flu in BSL

I like to keep checking the BBC’s outbreak map. It’s a fascinating little thing.

Help to improve BSL learning methods for hearing people

8 02 2009

Katie Marshall is a researcher working at City University London and the Deafness Cognition and Language Research Centre (University College London).

She is looking for hearing BSL (British Sign Language) learners who have passed level 2 and/or are taking pre-level 3/level 3 classes. She needs people “who are in the processes of learning so can have a conversation in sign but who are not yet ‘fluent'”, to participate in a small research project for her MSc studies.

I think it’s worth spreading-the-word because her research might help improve teaching learning/methods of hearing BSL learners.

Katie is quite happy for her email address (katiemason and the documents below to be circulated freely and would be very grateful if anyone would be willing to take part. Please email Katie if you would like to help her out.

The Four Deaf Yorkshiremen are back!

8 12 2008

Four Deaf Yorkshiremen and the Missing Wife from Charlie Swinbourne on Vimeo.

The new film ‘Four Deaf Yorkshiremen and the Missing Wife’ has just been released. The film is a sequel to the original film which had 84,000 views on YouTube, the new one has clocked up 5,000 views in one week! It stars the deaf actors John Smith, Matt Kirby, Jonathan Reid and Ilan Dwek and is in British Sign Language with subtitles.

It’s also on YouTube in two parts (please make sure you are watching it in high quality with a clear image!)

You can also still view the original HERE

More about the films – they were both filmed in one day, with no funding at all – which meant the production team were free to put them out on the internet. A vital part of it was the support of the deaf production company Remark! Productions.

Deaf man wins £50,000 business award

1 12 2008

Andrew Thomson runs a business in Scotland called Sign-Now, providing online BSL video-conferencing for deaf people. This service enables deaf people, who do not speak but use sign language, to communicate with hearing people over the internet. Brilliant.

He’s now received an award from easyGroup and Leonard Cheshire Disability for his work.

Signing to all deaf / Deaf people!

20 11 2008

Middlesex University researcher Catherine Carlton wants to contact members of the Deaf community n a project looking at the importance of BSL to Deaf identity. The research aims to highlight the importance of British Sign Language to the Deaf community and explore Deaf Identities.

if you would like to help by completing the questionnaire, the link is HERE

There is a £100 prize draw for all those who answer the survey.

Thanks for hilighing my website to others, however, I am sorry to say we’ve suffered a bit of an overload on the server, and it’s currently being fixed.

If anyone wants to fill out the questionnaire, then they can email me at and I will let them know as soon as it’s up again.

Please accept my apologies for the problem, and I hope this doesn’t put you off helping me with this very important reseach.

Catherine Carlton.

Dering Employment crunches the opposition

27 10 2008

Are you unemployed or looking for a new job? Do you realise it can take a minimum of 6 weeks to book a sign language interpreter or palantypist? Factor that into your job hunt … you won’t get very far.

We all know that being deaf means life is not as easy as it should be. We have to fight harder for a job and harder still for a fulfilling one. Being deaf and looking for work is basically a bowl of toenail clippings. It’s just unnnhhhhhhhhhh. Especially when it comes to employment agencies. *spits*

Dering is an employment agency with a difference. They actually care whether you can communicate and benefit appropriately from its services. Dering Employment Services was established in May 2006 and has gone from strength to strength. They help people to return to work by providing training and employment opportunities.

Dering are different in that they train deaf people to become employment advisors, job coaches and tutors. In turn, these deaf people become a positive role model for other deaf people. The director, Stephen Dering, has been deaf since birth and Dering is deaf-accessible, with services and training provided in British Sign Language. 86% of the staff are deaf so YEAH ! they totally GET the issues and barriers that we face in accessing work. Yay. Rock on!

Their programme includes the following (click on the links for further information);
Coachability in Northern Ireland and South East England
Deaf Active
Deaf Employment Service
Deaf Stepping Stones
Sports Apprenticeships
Train to Gain

Their latest news –

Last week, they hosted an official visit by Jonathan Shaw MP, the new Disability Minister, to their Croydon offices so that he could see for himself how they work with deaf people to get jobs. He was very impressed with the set up – photographs are on the Facebook group ‘Dering‘.

They are delivering Access to Work assessments for deaf, hard of hearing and deaf/blind people who live in the North West, West Midlands or East of England regions. Assessments are to enable people to identify what support they need in their job such as Interpreter Online or doorbell systems. From November 2008, they will cover Manchester, Salford and Trafford areas.

If you are interested in developing your skills and live in the London boroughs of Lambeth, Southwark or Wandsworth, Dering have an ASDAN employment training course coming up.

Their Coachability programmes in South East England and Northern Ireland are filling up quickly – ideal for anyone who wants to become a qualified sports coach.

Drop them an email at info @ dering. biz if you are interested in any of the above.

Go, Dering, go!

Miró, Calder, Giacometti, Braque: Aimé Maeght and his artists

6 10 2008

BSL and Lipspeaking Gallery Tour

The Royal Academy presents an exhibition demonstrating the achievement of the famous Galerie Maeght. Featuring works by Miró, Calder, Giacometti and Braque, this exhibition reflects the freshness, optimism and inventiveness of the art that took post-war Paris by storm. The gallery opened in Paris in 1945 and was to become one of the most influential and creative galleries of the twentieth century. The artists it showed expressed a bold new spirit in art which exploded in France after the dark years of the war.

This exhibition will present Aimé Maeght’s outstanding contributions to art in the mid-twentieth century – as an art dealer, exhibition maker and publisher – and will focus on the major artists he exhibited. The exhibition contains more than 140 paintings, sculptures, ceramics, prints and artists’ books by Miró, Calder, Giacometti and Braque, as well as works by Bonnard and Matisse, from the extensive collection of the Fondation Maeght in Saint Paul de Vence.

When: Friday 10 October 6-7pm. Please arrive at 5.45pm.

Where: In the Sackler Wing of Galleries, Royal Academy of Arts, Burlington House, Piccadilly, London W1J 0BD (Click here for directions)

Artist Lucianna Whittaker presents this tour. BSL interpretation and lipspeaking support will be provided. Radio receivers with loops for personal amplification are available to borrow on request.

£3 including entry to exhibition.
Tour and exhibition entry is free to Friends of the Royal Academy.

For information or to book, please contact the Access Officer:
Tel/text 020 7300 5732
Email access @
Fax booking form to 020 7300 8013
Royal Academy

Would you like to be a communicator?

16 05 2008

Open Day for people who want to work as communicators

The City Lit in London are having an Open Day for people who want to find out more about working as a communicator. They are offering a limited number of interview slots on the day but more will be made available on other dates in the summer.

If you have BSL Level 2 or higher, if you want to work with D/deaf people, and want to improve your signing skills and gain experience, come along.

Saturday 7th June 2008, 10:30am – 4:30pm
City Lit, Keeley Street, London WC2B 4BA

They offer
• Free Post-Level 2 and NVQ 3 courses – subject to minimum number of hours worked
• Professional training and support
• Flexible work and study
• Competitive rates of pay

The City Lit’s FHE Support Service provides sign language communicators, interpreters and notetakers for D/deaf and disabled Further and Higher Education students in and around London.
This is usually part-time work in a “pool” of support workers. The amount of work varies depending on student demand. Most of the support they provide is on weekdays, though there is occasional evening and weekend work.

If you’re interested, contact them to express an interest or book an interview time:
Voice – 020 7492 2722
Email – fhe@citylit.
Fax – 020 7492 2743
Minicom – 020 7492 2746

BSL Level 2

24 04 2008

I researched BSL Level 2 courses available in London. I thought, there must be loads. Boy, was I in for a surprise. No wonder ‘Deaf culture’ is in decline!

I found the following organisations advertising BSL courses – either on their websites or externally – and followed up the leads. The costs below are exclusive of the CACDP exam fees.

BSL Works Holborn
24 days (every fortnight, at weekends) : £1,000

City Lit
36 weeks Mon : £957
16 weeks Sat : £957

Deaf Access Bromley
6 weeks : Sat : £650

Dorothy Miles Cultural Centre
35 weeks : Thur : £495

Hackney County Council
36 weeks : Tue : £640

Jewish Deaf Association
51 weeks : Tue : £360

Lambeth College Clapham
1 year : Tue : £145

no information on website >>> BSL courses taken over by BSL Works

Merton College
30 weeks : Mon : £274

Only levels 3 and 4

2 weeks : £1,015 incl exam fees and accommodation
1-to-1 sessions : £20 an hour

Thomas Tallis School
no information on website and no reply to enquiries

Tri Uk Ltd
no information on website and no reply to enquiries

Waltham Forest
1 year : Tue : £333 incl exam fees