The Controlled Schools’ Support Council (CSSC) has today, Tuesday 4 December, launched a programme that will enable over 250 primary school children and their parents to learn sign language.
Led by CSSC and funded by the Department for Communities Sign Language Partnership Funding Group, the funding secured will enable nine controlled schools to avail of a programme of workshops that will raise awareness of the needs of the deaf community and teach valuable sign language skills.
Speaking at the launch in Ballymacash Primary School, Lisburn, CSSC Chief Executive Barry Mulholland said,
“CSSC is delighted to be giving nine controlled schools and more than 250 children the opportunity to take part in workshops that will raise awareness of sign language as a language of need for the deaf community, who, in some cases, are fellow pupils.
“The workshops are designed by tutor Anthony Sinclair to have lively and interactive content, with pupils exploring themes including colours and emotions.
“Learning sign language will allow pupils to improve their communication skills, as well as developing an understanding of sign as a language in its own right.
“Including parents in workshops with their children is also a key part of this programme, as it will enable parents to share in their child’s learning as well as acquire some basic sign language skills.”
Maeve Walls, Director of Culture at the Department for Communities said
“I am pleased to learn that CSSC has engaged with both Action Deaf Youth and the National Deaf Children’s Society who work with deaf children, young people and their families to give them opportunities to have the best start in life.
“Through this engagement it increases understanding of the needs of deaf children in mainstream education and this programme seeks to give deaf children the best start in life through the development of deaf-friendly learning environments in their school.” Around 30 pupils will take part in two two hour workshops, and their parents will take part in a 1.5 hour session.
P4 pupils from Ballymacash Primary School pictured with (l-r) Principal Stephen Gray, sign language tutor Anthony Sinclair, Brian Kelly, Chair of the Board of Governors of Ballymacash Primary School, Maeve Walls, Director of Culture at the Department of Communities, School Support Officer Tracey Woods and Chief Executive Barry Mulholland of the Controlled Schools' Support Council, John Dickson, Department of Education Sectoral Bodies Support Team and Johnny Graham, Controlled Schools' Support Council.