British Sign Language course launched to help hospitality support Deaf community

By Amelie Maurice-Jones

- Last updated on GMT

Inclusive industry: BSL course will help hospitality understand, accommodate and welcome the Deaf community (Getty/ hsyncoban)
Inclusive industry: BSL course will help hospitality understand, accommodate and welcome the Deaf community (Getty/ hsyncoban)

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CPL Learning has launched the free online training course ‘British Sign Language – Phrases for Hospitality’ to support venues and individuals who want to improve the hospitality experience for Deaf people.

The course, which is being launched in accordance with Deaf Awareness Week (2 to 8 May), will provide team members with knowledge of British Sign Language (BSL) and the opportunity to learn everyday phrases that will help them communicate with guests.

It also provides information about the inequalities deaf people face and what staff can do to help.

A more inclusive society

CPL Learning director of learning Jamie Campbell said: “Sign language is a beautiful and fun language to learn and initiate, and it contributes to a more inclusive society. This introductory CPL Learning course has been specifically designed to equip hospitality team members with the knowledge and confidence to engage with Deaf guests.

“It is presented in an informative style and in 10 minutes can help them gain an understanding of the diversity and challenges Deaf people face and introduce basic BSL and simple phrases to improve their experience by making them feel included and welcome.” 

This comes after a bill was passed by the House of Lords last week to acknowledge BSL as a language for the first time, following years of campaigning by the Deaf community.

Making hospitality a welcoming space

Campbell believed the importance of BSL was made clear to the public last year when actress Rose Ayling-Ellis become the first Deaf contestant – then champion – of Strictly Come Dancing.

“Rose is one of an estimated 151,000 people in the UK who use BSL, of which 87,000 are Deaf,” he commented.

He continued: “Additionally, there are more than 12m adults in the UK who are classified as having moderate hearing loss, or greater, which is equivalent to one in five adults. It is our hope that, with BSL now legally recognised as a language, CPL Learning’s ‘British Sign Language – Phrases for Hospitality’ course will help start opening more doors and actively signpost that hospitality is a welcoming environment for the Deaf community.” 

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