Meet the Sign Language Society

All you need to know about Sign Soc!

76
Photograph by Thomas Moran

What is the society’s purpose?

The society’s purpose is to create an inclusive environment where students are given the opportunity to learn a language which is, firstly, rich in culture and creativity and, secondly, vital to improving equality. Currently, only two percent of the population can sign to a proficient level, capable of communicating with members of our society who are deaf or hard of hearing. Through individually themed classes and interactive real-life simulations, within one term complete beginners in our society are provided with the confidence and skills to engage in casual signed conversations.

What happens in the society’s meetings?

Signed charades, simulated real-world scenarios, fingerspelling challenges and many more fun and engaging activities to teach members the Level One curriculum. Nobody is made to feel as though they are being bombarded with new vocabulary.

What socials does the society offer?

Learning sign language won’t always take place in a lecture theatre. Those who are deaf go out and live fun lives. So, the society does too! Restaurants, nightclubs, etc., are social places where learning can be incorporated in a fun way to help members understand what the Deaf community must do in order to communicate. Think of what most socials entail, and just add signing!

Do you have a favourite memory with the society?

Seeing such a large turn out on the first class of the year! It is brilliant to see so many people on board with British Sign Language (BSL), as it helps so many people.

Why is sign language an important skill to obtain?

A member of your family, or a friend, could be born deaf or become deafened in time. It can happen to anyone. Wouldn’t you want the option to live in a world where more than 50,000 people in the UK alone could communicate with you and understand what you have to say?

What other transferrable skills will this society help develop?

Being a member of Sign Soc. provides members with a profound understanding of difference. That includes a greater awareness of diversity in their own community and an acceptance that disabilities aren’t all visible and they shouldn’t cause disadvantages or disallow anyone to integrate fully into society. Furthermore, all the games, themes and activities selected by the society are carefully crafted to give each member the vocabulary and skills to achieve a GCSE equivalent qualification, endorsed by Signature, the UK’s leading provider of British Sign Language qualifications.

How does someone become a new member?

Through Lancaster University Students’ Union’s website or searching for Lancaster University’s Sign Language Society on Facebook where more information is provided.

What can beginners to sign language expect to learn within the first few weeks of joining?

While being a society with an important message and skill to teach, we do aim to present attention-grabbing, friendly lectures that will see new members quickly grasp the basics: introducing one’s self and participating in short conversations.