UK award joy for Highland group working to boost British Sign Language in schools
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WORK to boost inclusion through the teaching of British Sign Language has earned a Highland organisation a top prize in a prestigious UK competition.
The Highland Deaf Education Service won the Innovation in the Field of Inclusion award at nasen’s seventh annual awards.
They were recognised for their "outstanding work in supporting deaf children to reach their full potential, whilst providing their peers with the opportunity to learn British Sign Language".
The ceremony, held at the Grand Hotel Birmingham last week, was hosted by nasen – the National Association for Special Educational Needs and Disabilities – and supported by official media sponsors, tes. nasen is a charitable membership organisation that exists to support and champion those working with, and for, children and young people with SEND and learning differences.
The Highland Deaf Education Service was in the spotlight for its Digital British Sign Language (BSL) Pack, a unique British Sign Language curriculum consisting of lesson plans, video clips, activities and games, all stored on a USB stick so non-signing teachers can deliver a fun and inclusive learning experience for deaf and hearing children.
The Highland Deaf Education Service's training pack proved such a success that it has been purchased by every county council in Scotland. It also aligns with the Scottish Government’s 1+2 Languages initiative to improve Scotland’s language learning in schools.
Speaking of their win, Sheila Lundberg, Co-ordinator of the Highland Deaf Education Service said: “Highland Deaf Education Service has been pushing forward the BSL agenda for over 30 years. We are absolutely delighted that our BSL pack has been recognised on the National stage by nasen and we are incredibly proud to be the first winners of the Innovation in the Field of Inclusion Award.”
Chief Executive of nasen, Annamarie Hassall MBE said: “Highland Deaf Education Service should be extremely proud of what they have achieved. We received the greatest number of nominations this year, telling stories of inspiring services, along with schools, colleges, settings and individuals that are working together to make a difference for children and young people.
“All our winners, and those nominated, are true role models.”