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Requests for British Sign Language training show rapid growth

Prestige Network : 19 November, 2007  (New Product)
Language services specialist Prestige Network has seen requests for British Sign Language training reach an all-time high of 50 a month.
The company believes that the rise reflects the fact that nearly 15 percent of the population have some degree of deafness.

The Royal National Institute for the Deaf has estimated that hearing loss costs the UK 13.5 billion in lost earnings each year.

Susan Tolman, PR executive for Prestige Network, said: “Being deaf is about experiencing the world visually. There are now nine million deaf and hard of hearing people in the UK and British Sign Language is just one way of improving the lives of deaf people and those who are hard of hearing.

“The service was launched just over two years ago as a direct result of requests from our existing language clients. It has expanded so much that we have exceeded 50 BSL bookings every month and it’s growing all the time. We now have an extremely active list of clients who use our British Sign Language service on a regular basis.

“Few of us are aware of how taxing life can be when people have hearing difficulties. British Sign Language is the first or preferred language of around 70,000 people in the UK, and many people also combine signs from BSL with English in order to communicate - BSL can really help improve the lives of many deaf people.”
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