- It is estimated that there are about 9 million people in the UK who are Deaf or hard of hearing
- Deafness is the third most common disability in the world but you probably wouldn’t spot a Deaf person in a crowd
- Most Deaf people don’t view their Deafness as a disability or as a problem that should be fixed. For many of them, it’s a natural part of a cultural experience that they share with friends, both Deaf and hearing
- Most Deaf people who use sign language use British Sign Language, or BSL. It’s a rich combination of hand gestures, facial expressions and body language
- BSL isn’t simply English with hand signs, it is a different language with its own grammar and sentence construction. While you would say “what is your name?” in English, a BSL user would sign, “your name, what?”
- You might assume that sign language across the world is the same – but actually British Sign Language is totally different to other sign languages such as American Sign Language or Japanese Sign Language
- Even the best lip-readers only catch less than half of the words said to them, natural facial expressions and hand gestures can really help
- 9 in every ten deaf children are born to hearing parents, but only 1 in 10 of those parents will learn sign language to be able to communicate fully with their son or daughter
- Deaf people embrace their Deafness and are proud of their history. There is a very strong sense of community and culture amongst Deaf people
- As a Deaf person you rely on your eyes for clues to what people are saying or feeling, and you rely on other clues like vibrations in floors to be aware of what is going on around you
Law Society Council meeting
I recently attended my first Law Society Council meeting in London where I was introduced as the new representative for trainee solicitors and LPC students for the next two years. We spoke about many topics including Britain’s place in law on the world stage following Brexit and ensuring we stay a key global player.
We also had some training about culture and supporting and respecting others around us even if our opinions or values differ in order to maintain harmony and think about how we impact how others feel.
Everyone was really friendly and council members have such diverse and interesting backgrounds it’s great to be around such amazing legal minds and I am looking forward to my next council meeting which will take place in late October.