Why do deaf people need Signing and Subtitles on TV?
When you select subtitles they are written in English, whereas the sign language interpreters you see on the TV are signing in British Sign Language (BSL).
BSL and English are not the same.
The grammatical rules of BSL are completely different to the rules of English. BSL is a visual/spatial language, which is governed by its own grammatical rules using hand shapes, hand movements and facial expressions to convey meaning.
Not all deaf people know how to sign e.g. people who were born with hearing would learn English as their first language. If they subsequently lose their hearing through an accident, illness or old age - they have no knowledge of BSL and would prefer using language they have already acquired, namely English. Whereas people who are born deaf and are part of the Deaf community will more than likely learn and use BSL as their first and preferred language.
The importance of deaf awareness by service providers, is to realise there is no one solution for all when it comes to deaf communication needs.
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