Disabled teen teaching thousands of Brits sign language during lockdown
A 15-year-old from Birmingham is being heralded for getting thousands of people across the country learning British Sign Language (BSL) during the pandemic lockdown, helping to tackle loneliness and social isolation amongst disabled people.
Tyrese Dibba, who is Deaf and partially sighted, is fronting a new campaign by the national disability charity, Sense, aimed at getting more people to learn British Sign Language (BSL), a communication method commonly used by people who are Deaf or those with a hearing impairment.
Over seven thousand people have already signed up online to receive the free video lessons made available to coincide with Deaf Awareness Week. Taught by Tyrese, each lesson covers a variety of his favourite subjects, from family to holidays.
Tyrese has CHARGE Syndrome, which affects his body in many ways, and he and his family have been supported by Sense since he was 6 months old. He receives support from specialist support workers, attends events and participates in Sense Holidays.
According to research carried out by Sense, one in four Brits admit to avoiding conversations with disabled people, while one in two disabled people feel lonely, rising to three quarters for young disabled people. Tyrese jumped at the chance to be involved in a campaign that would help tackle the issue.
Tyrese Dibba, said: “I want more people to learn to sign, so Deaf people don’t get excluded. You should be able to chat to someone, whatever their disability might be. After all, no one likes feeling left out.”
Vicky Dibba, Tyrese’s mother, said: “I'm very proud of how Tyrese just got on with filming, not hiding any of his personality. Tyrese is proud to be Deaf and feels more people should treat everybody equally and I'm happy to support him.”
Richard Kramer, Sense Chief Executive, said: “BSL is the first language for hundreds of thousands of people who are Deaf, and if more people are able to use it we can ensure that less people are left out, helping to tackle loneliness and social isolation amongst disabled people. It’s really fun to learn and an ideal time to learn, with so many of us stuck at home looking for new things to do.”
You can sign up for free British Sign Language lessons with Tyrese at: www.sense.org.uk/sensesignschool