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Digital campaign gets 50,000 Brits learning Sign Language

August 17, 2020

A press release:

13 August 2020: Over 50,000 people have started learning British Sign Language (BSL) thanks to the phenomenal success of a new digital engagement campaign by the disability charity Sense.

‘Sense Sign School’, which launched in May this year, during the UK lockdown, invites the public to sign up for free online classes, taught by Tyrese Dibba, a Deaf and partially sighted 15-year-old student from Birmingham.

The campaign has been promoted on Facebook and Instagram, and everyone that signs-up is taken on an email journey and receives a new BSL video lesson every day, for five days. The initial target was 7k sign-ups over the course of three months, and this was beaten in its first week with 8k sign-ups. The incredible popularity generated national headlines, with Tyrese interviewed on national television, including Sky News.

Sense worked with the creative Agency GOOD to develop the campaign, which aims to break down communication barriers, promote understanding and tackle social isolation amongst disabled people. Loneliness is disproportionately high amongst disabled people, with one in two experiencing it every day. Sense research also shows that one in four Brits avoid conversation with disabled people, because they worry about saying the wrong thing.

Tyrese Dibba’s charismatic performance is credited for the popularity of the campaign.  Tyrese has CHARGE Syndrome, 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.

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.”

Sense Director of Engagement, Chris Jarrett, said:

“Hundreds of thousands of people who are Deaf use BSL as their first language, and if more people are able to use it, we can ensure that less people are left out, which is our charity’s mission.

Everyone at Sense is tremendously excited about the campaign and believe it will help us acquire new supporters which will be vital for achieving our ambition of supporting more families and disabled people in future”

GOOD Agency Client Services Director Nilesha Chauvet, said:

“We wanted to create a campaign for Sense that helped people authentically engage with those with disabilities; stepping into their world and experiencing a value exchange that worked both ways.  We wanted to challenge preconceptions and stereotypes. To celebrate our differences rather than hone in on limitations. Tyrese is a star, and he proves that people with disabilities can and should be at the front of campaigns like these.”

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