Family BSL Course

Available in the following locations:

This 10 week course is designed for deaf* children between the ages of 0-8 years old and their family.

Language acquisition is one of the most fundamental and important parts of a child’s development and for deaf children this can sometimes be a real challenge.  This course is designed to allow children the opportunity to learn language at this vital stage in their development and for their families to learn along with them using fun and appropriate teaching methods.

Course Content

Throughout this course you will cover various topics including (but not exclusive to): fingerspelling, numbers & time, family and home life, animals and pets, travelling, holidays, food & drink, hobbies, activities, clothes and giving instructions.

You will also begin to learn how to structure sentences using BSL grammar and syntax, begin to use non-manual features (facial expression and body language) and learn how to describe the placement of objects, rooms within buildings and people.

Course Structure

We understand that children and adults require different teaching styles so we try to incorporate this in to the classes.

We use a mixture of games, crafts, picture books, toys, stories and other visually stimulating methods to teach. This visual method is effective in allowing the children to easily associate signs with their meanings.

The adults will join in with these activities so you are also learning through play as well as having some time with the tutors.

Our tutors are Deaf BSL users themselves and are very experienced in teaching absolute beginners through to advanced students of all ages.


Thanks to funding from Santander, the Souter Trust and the Birkdale Trust, we are able to bring you this course completely free of charge!

Course Dates

We will be running two standalone courses between February 2019 and June 2019. This will be the same course two times so you should only apply for one of them.

Venue:  Deaf Action Head Office – 49 Albany Street, Edinburgh, EH1 3QY

Time: 09:30 – 12:30

Course 1: Saturday 2nd February 2019 – Saturday 6th April 2019

Course 2: Saturday 27th April – Saturday 29th June 2019

Application Form

If you would like to apply for this course fill in the application form below and either post or email it back to:

Lauren McAnna – Training & Quality Management Officer  :

Please note that as this is a free course, places will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.  Places are initially limited to 1 Deaf child with 3 family members.  If the course is not full by the first date, we will release the remaining places on a first come first served basis.

All persons employed by Deaf Action are screened under the Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) scheme under Disclosure Scotland

Related Articles

Mark Drolsbaugh a profoundly Deaf American Sign Language user who is also a parent of a profoundly Deaf child sums it up perfectly in an article he recently wrote – ‘Four things parents of Deaf children need to know’:

Language acquisition can’t wait. It takes time for a Deaf child to make progress with hearing aids, speech therapy, and cochlear implants—and there’s no guarantee of how well they’ll work. Why wait? The longer you wait, the more your child’s brain has to deal with the harmful effects of language deprivation. Deaf babies—actually, ALL babies—can communicate in sign language long before their vocal cords are fully developed. This offers a huge head start in language acquisition. If you check out renowned neuroscientist Dr. Laura-Ann Petitto’s groundbreaking research at the National Science Foundation Center on Visual Language and Visual Learning, you’ll be way ahead of the curve.”  Click here to read the whole article

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Deaf Action currently has a team of registered BSL Interpreters that work in a variety of settings. Combined, we have over 45 years of interpreting experience.

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*deaf includes people who are Deaf BSL users, deafened, deafblind and hard of hearing

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