Disabled student teaching sign language to thousands with free video lessons

A 15-year-old student from Birmingham has created a series of videos teaching British Sign Language (BSL) for free during the Covid-19 lockdown.

Tyrese Dibba, who has Charge Syndrome, and is deaf and partially sighted, released the videos along with disability charity Sense with the aim to tackle loneliness and isolation among other people with disabilities.

“It’s very important for more people to learn to sign, it will help the deaf community feel part of wider society,” Tyrese told the PA news agency.

“Sense want more people to learn to sign, so when they asked me to teach the lessons I was very happy. The lessons are free and they cover some of my favourite subjects, including food and holidays.”

Thousands have signed up for the classes, which Sense described as “really fun”.

People who sign up online will receive five videos over five days.

Richard Kramer, chief executive of Sense, 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.

(Tyrese Dibba/handout)

“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.”

More than 7,000 people have signed up to receive the free video sessions, a number that Tyrese described as “amazing”.

He added: “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.”

Sign up for BSL classes at: www.sense.org.uk/sense-sign-school

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