Charity calls for sign language to be taught in schools

A Stoke-on-Trent based charity is launching a campaign to ask for British Sign Language be taught in schools, up to GCSE level.

dDeaflinks Staffordshire have been supporting the deaf community in the county for over 150 years.

They have seen more people contacting them to learn BSL, since the success of Oscar winning short film The Silent Child.

It was written by and stars Stoke born actress Rachel Shenton - who is also the charity's patrol, along with her husband Chris Overton.

The charity says, among other things, the film demonstrated the very strong desire expressed by the general public to see BSL taught in schools.

They have created a government petition, asking for it to be on the curriculum.

But they are also now creating a large art installation called “A Silent Shout” to visually demonstrate the support for their cause.

It will be created in the grounds of their Shelton centre, and will entail ribbons and fabric with messages of support being attached to a fence that has been built.

It will be accessed by a special purpose built staircase, which has been funded by local businessman Steve Catewell.

Rachel will attach the first ribbon on the fence today (20 July), as part of the launch event at the Wellesley Street site.

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