UEA British Sign Language Society
Who are we?
We are an award winning society ran by a group of enthusiastic signers and learners. We are a fun, relaxed group that allows us to share our passion with others. No previous knowledge of BSL is required, the atmosphere is supportive non-judgemental and encouraging for new signers. We are accepting of all students, postgrads and mature students.
Student Transformation Award winners 2020 and 2021 "Inclusivity and Accessability society of the year". We are proud to announce this award title to everyone interested in joining a society, who may be nervous that societies and university might not be for them. We are a welcoming, humble and approachable group of students that encourage making friends from the start. This year we have paired with buddySU to offer targeted support for this. All members of our teaching team and committee have passed and completed a qualified course from DeafAware, and attended extensive SU training for inclusion and diversity.
Deaf awareness is promoted in everything we do, and hope to encourage this on and off campus as best we can.
Pick it up in your own time through our YouTube Chanel, advance at your own pace and find out how to gain a qualification in British Sign Language. For any information about qualifications please send us a message! For healthcare and students that request attendance certificates for CPD, message us for this to be arranged.
* Please note: Qualifications are not awarded in the society. *The standard £4 membership is for the full academic year, it includes all of our events and weekly sessions. Hoodies and sweatshirts will be made available throughout the year.
When do we meet?
COVID UPDATE: as requested from previous years members, we will be hosting sessions virtually once or twice a week, a full schedule is on the members forum. When given information from the SU regarding when in person sessions can go ahead, we will be sure to follow Covid national and SU guidelines.
We meet every Tuesday for taught sessions 5.30pm on Zoom (first hour is for the vocabulary learning and receptive skills, where each session has a different topic such as food, animals). The last half an hour is for the intermediate session, where you practice the expressive skills learnt earlier and can learn a song, this is voted for weekly by members. We have tried our best to ensure the environment is as accessible as possible for all disabilities, hidden disabilities, learning difficulties and deaf inclusion. Everyone is welcome to stay for the whole session and catch up video's are on the UEA BSL YouTube channel so that you don’t feel like you’re missing out through studies, which always come first. don't hesitate to ask questions throughout the sessions, or to hang around at the end to ask one of our committee members or tutors.
Please note our messenger is always open and you will be replied to instantly. A session timetable and weekly posts will be uploaded regarding what each week will cover. When you have a membership you will be invited to join the members forum.
Before COVID we were able to meet casually throughout the academic year through local events such as Norfolk Deaf Festival, Disability Pride and society socials. Keep an eye out for these amazing opportunities and social events; these are opportunities to practice your signing within the deaf community and to meet friends for life. We maybask for your permission to be recorded and/or photographed for social media.
British Sign Language is used across the UK by over 150,000 people, both deaf and hearing. A current topic that excites us and the deaf community is a potential upcoming GCSE. We welcome students, from undergraduates to postgraduates and from all ages and backgrounds.
Who are the 2021/22 committee?
President: Ollie Thornton
Vice president: Jen Beale
Secretary: Jen Beale
Treasurer: Zoe Balaam
Equality and Diversity Rep: Molly Driver
Health and Safety Rep: Yewon Byun
Union council Rep: Delaney Washington
Wellbeing officer: Maisie Dennis
Wellbeing officer 2: Delaney Washington
Social secretary: Kayleigh Skene
Events officer: Mary Brant
Fundraising officer: Samantha Browne
Youtube: UEA BSL
Facebook Group: UEA British Sign Language