Make it compulsory for all schools & early years to teach basic signing

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Steve Lakey
Steve Lakey signed this petition

My little brother Christian took his first breath 24 minutes after he was born. He has brain damage, cerebral palsy, visual impairment and other disabilities.

We were told Christian would never be able to communicate. But I didn’t want to give up - so although he couldn’t talk I started teaching him sign language. And it worked! Learning sign language has opened up a whole new word for Christian. But unfortunately, most other children don’t know sign language, which creates a huge barrier for communication.

This means children who use sign language can feel really isolated  - and that’s why I’m calling for all children to be taught sign language in school.

This can be simply done through a sign of the day/week shown in assembly or registration, and doesn’t need to take up precious time/money. My brother is my inspiration, he has severe disabilities and uses sign to support his speech and communication. Nobody should be socially isolated due to communication barriers! 

Through setting up my social media platform ‘Sign Along With Us’ I have discovered what a huge issue this is here in the UK and just how many people are affected. 

Hundreds of thousands of children here in the UK use sign language or signing systems to aid communication. When you add into the equation their family and friends, these numbers run into millions.

I strongly believe that if all primary schools and early years settings promote a sign of the day/week children will learn the basic word signs. This doesn’t have to cost, it can be done in person or using videos. It won’t take time as it can only take less than a minute each time in assembly/registration. I know schools can choose to teach sign but it should be compulsory. How can inclusion ever be down to choice!

If all children were taught sign language at school, it would make the world a less lonely place for people like my brother. Please sign my petition if you agree!