Health, disability & well-being

Funding level: £10,001 to £25,000

Description

Sign2sing is an innovative, engaging, sign-language based singing event that takes places across the UK annually. Every year more than 100,000 pupils take part in sign2sing, learning basic sign language and improving their Deaf awareness in hundreds of schools across the UK. Developed by SignHealth, the healthcare charity for Deaf people, the event “inspires a generation to sign” and emphasises the importance of Deaf awareness, inclusivity and equality. During the event children UK-wide are introduced to British Sign Language (BSL) and are taught to sing and sign a song that has been specially written. Positive messages are conveyed through the song's lyrics and supporting videos which focus on inclusivity, understanding and accepting differences, friendship, sharing and empowerment. The funds raised by the event go towards funding SignHealth’s nationwide services supporting vulnerable Deaf people.

Most people are unaware of what it really means to be profoundly Deaf and do not realise how isolating it is to live in a silent world. Or how this isolation can lead to increased vulnerability and victimisation.

Research has shown that Deaf children are nearly 3 and a half times more likely to experience domestic abuse, and Deaf women twice as likely, than their hearing peers. Shockingly 60% of Deaf children go on to experience mental health issues in later life.

Difficulties in communication present a huge barrier. People born Deaf or deafened in early childhood have great difficulty in learning to speak and understanding spoken language, which leads to problems with literacy and written material. A Deaf person’s quality of life depends on communication that is clear, concise and accessible and their most effective form of communication is through sign language. However, because of the lack of knowledge of it within society, sign language is not always a viable option and Deaf people are often unable to communicate meaningfully.
Communication barriers mean a health service that cannot effectively support Deaf people, consequently causing them to suffer poorer health and shortened lives. They are often left feeling lonely, isolated, victimised and at risk of abuse. Deaf people face prejudice and intolerance every single day and are often a neglected and severely disadvantaged group in our society.

SignHealth’s goal is to end the inequalities that exist for Deaf people. Through sign2sing we raise awareness of the issues surrounding deafness in an enjoyable and memorable way, helping to increase teacher and pupil understanding.
Furthermore, research studies have shown that when hearing children learn sign language, their confidence, self-esteem and ability to express themselves all improve. Teachers applaud the virtues of hearing children learning signing skills. Research studies have proved it provides a kinaesthetic and visual approach to learning that is helpful to a wide variety of students. It improves overall communication, language and literacy skills and cognitive development. These lead to higher verbal IQ, better social skills and an overall increased education attainment. Many schools are now incorporating sign language within day-to-day school life in order to support the pursuit of their educational goals.

We recognise that today’s children are tomorrow’s policy makers, lawyers, health professionals and social workers. If we can educate children about the difficulties that Deaf people face, then the discrimination and marginalisation that Deaf people experience will be improved. By participating in sign2sing, hearing pupils increase their knowledge of deafness and sign language, learning how they can communicate effectively and helping to facilitate the social inclusion of Deaf people.

Sign2sing helps to fund SignHealth’s work supporting vulnerable Deaf children and adults and campaigning for equality to ensure a brighter and healthier future.

SignHealth

Location: Buckinghamshire, United Kingdom

sign2sing is an exciting, inclusive event that helps build confidence and Deaf awareness. It's a wonderful introduction to sign language and an inspiring fund-raising activity. Schools and businesses learn a signed song while raising money to help transform the lives of vulnerable Deaf children.
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