Innovation Birmingham Campus-based Learning Labs creates ‘Learn British Sign Language FlashSticks®’

National charity Signature has teamed up with Innovation Birmingham-based Learning Labs to launch the UK’s first learning aid for British Sign Language (BSL).

Signature and Learning Labs have developed the ‘Learn British Sign Language FlashSticks®’ custom printed Post-it Notes® to improve the way people learn BSL. It presents the visual language as an engaging and useful choice, alongside other foreign language options.

Only weeks after the product launch, Signature and Learning Labs have confirmed WHSmith, Staples and online giant Amazon as stockists.

Each printed Post-it Note® demonstrates how to sign a particular word, with an illustration and written description. In addition, FlashStick’s smart app technology and Signature’s BSL expertise enables a smart phone scan of each note to reveal a short video tutorial of a BSL teacher signing the word.

Signature, which is the UK’s leading awarding body for deaf communications, works to generate awareness of and increase interest in BSL, as well as teaching the general public skills to communicate with deaf people. Signature’s commercial services manager Emma Mortimer said: “Here in the UK, one in six people have some degree of hearing loss. That’s about 10 million people, so the demand to learn how to effectively communicate with deaf people is now higher than ever.

“This latest partnership, and the resulting BSL ‘FlashSticks®’, is great news for the deaf community – it is a fantastic product. FlashSticks® raise awareness of the need for increased skills and understanding of BSL, while also presenting the learning in a fun, effective and engaging way, particularly with the addition of the signed video tutorials.

“The FlashSticks® product is another step in the right direction with regards to bringing BSL into the forefront of language learning. We’re very grateful to the Learning Labs team for its initiative and belief in BSL.”

Learning Labs CEO, Veejay Lingiah said: “We launched the BSL FlashSticks® in response to consumer demand, and the feedback from retailers, language learners and educators has been overwhelmingly positive.

“When we began developing the product we already knew that people were enjoying the sticky note aspect of FlashSticks®, being able to stick notes up in their environment to help improve their learning momentum, but we weren’t exactly sure how this would translate to BSL. Working with Signature, we knew we were in safe hands to create a more accessible and inclusive way of learning BSL. And that’s exactly what we’ve developed – a unique, fun and effective BSL learning tool for individuals, families and schools.

“Signature’s signed videos are a great way to enhance the way BSL is learnt. Bringing the notes and vocabulary to life is a tried and tested learning method, which will garner great results for individuals and the deaf community.We are thrilled that WHSmith, Staples and Amazon have given the BSL FlashSticks product their vote of confidence too. We are now focused on making as many people as possible aware that this new method for learning BSL exists.”

Packs of BSL FlashSticks contain 100 unique words to learn and retail from £4.99. More information on BSL FlashSticks can be found at www.flashsticks.com.

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