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Scottish deaf charity hopes social media challenge will increase deaf awareness and raise vital funds

Posted: 6th May 2021

• Deaf Action launches social media fundraising campaign to increase awareness of British Sign Language.
• Deaf Awareness Week 2021 begins today, 3rd May 2021.
• The charity aims to promote social inclusion for deaf people.
• 40% of deaf people will experience mental health struggles at some point in their lives.

Edinburgh based charity, Deaf Action, has launched a social media campaign to increase deaf awareness and promote inclusion for the deaf community.

The challenge ties in with Deaf Awareness Week, which runs from 3 – 9 May 2021. This year, the theme is ‘Coming through it together’, highlighting the hardships from the pandemic, and looking forward to a brighter future.

To celebrate Deaf Awareness Week, Deaf Action has created a social media challenge called #SignForDeafAction. The aim of the challenge is to teach people some basic British Sign Language (BSL) skills and bring people together. The campaign will encourage people to film themselves signing their name, upload their video to social media, make a donation, then nominate others to do the same.

The charity wants people to know that something as simple as learning your name in BSL can make a difference and can promote inclusion.

Philip Gerrard, CEO at Deaf Action, and a deaf BSL user, said:

“Deaf people are proud of our language and our culture, and we want to share it with everyone! Anyone can learn basic BSL – learn to sign your name and next time you meet a BSL user you can introduce yourself. It’s such a simple way to increase inclusivity for deaf people.”

The charity hopes this will trend over deaf awareness week and has enlisted the help of other people in the deaf community to promote inclusion. Evelyn Glennie, the deaf solo percussionist will be taking part in the campaign, showcasing how deafness is not a barrier.

Angela McCormack, Senior Fundraiser at Deaf Action said:

“The #SignForDeafAction challenge is a great way to encourage people to learn basic BSL and have some fun. By taking part in the challenge, people are helping us increase deaf awareness and raise vital funds. We have lost revenue due to the pandemic over the past year, so we’ve created this fundraising challenge to increase funds to help us sustain and grow our services which support deaf people across Scotland.”

With social media challenges such as the ice bucket challenge being so successful in the past, the charity hopes this will have a similar impact, raising awareness of deafness.

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