Charity alliance creates first ever visual British Sign Language money dictionary

A charity has created the UK’s first British Sign Language financial jargon buster video to help young people with hearing loss navigate the maze of money terms.

Last year a Money Advice Service investigation found there is next to no financial education provision for young people with hearing or sight loss and many services are ill-suited to their needs.

70% of those with sight loss live on the poverty line and just 29% of young people who are blind or Deaf manage their own finances.

The video is a taste of Money Mechanics, the UK’s first dedicated specialist money skills programme for 16-25 year olds with sensory impairments. Over a thousand young people will learn how to budget, bank and borrow safely, in their first languages. Young participants will also get to understand the costs of university and how to run their own enterprise. It is envisaged that other youth organisations could be trained to deliver the programmes.

The scheme was created by the charities MyBnk, The Royal Association for Deaf People (RAD) and the Royal Society of Blind Children (RSBC) and funded by players of People’s Postcode Lottery.

 

Sue Mountford, Director of Services at the Royal Association for Deaf people, explained the difficulty of the task: “Not all money related terms are in British Sign Language (BSL), or have attached definitions. In BSL there isn’t a specific sign for each word in the English dictionary. Sometimes we have to borrow signs from other regions/countries. Whilst many of these words are used every day in the finance sector – in most cases we have to visually define the words.

“This is a perfect example to how we are breaking down the barriers to young people managing their money.”

Guy Rigden, CEO of MyBnk said: “Everyone needs to manage their money. It is just common sense. However, if you are young and have a sensory impairment, there is a double disadvantage.

“This project will have a lifetime impact on the everyday interactions of vulnerable young people, be it budgeting, understanding bills, prioritising debts or earning money, as well as on their aspirations for the future, for example considering university, starting their own business, or moving into their own home. It’s about making finance accessible for all.”

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