Deaf awareness at the University of Nottingham

The Sign Language Society (‘Sign Soc’) at the University of Nottingham Students’ Union (UoNSU), recently created a sign-assisted music video in hopes of raising deaf awareness both within and outside of the University.

Throughout the year, the student-led group at the University of Nottingham has taught students across different courses and years the basics in British Sign Language (BSL), including level 1 vocabulary, deaf awareness and knowledge of deaf culture. This has given many students the ability to communicate with those who use BSL or Sign Supported English (SSE) in their language. The society has presented a final project, in the form of a ‘Sign Dub’ to celebrate their learning of BSL and to further spread awareness of the society and the language itself.

The Sign Dub is where the society uses Sign Supported English or Sign Exact English (SSE/SEE) to dub a popular song with BSL Signs. This year, the chosen song, voted for by members of the society, was ‘This Is Me’ by Keala Seattle and ensemble, performed in the film The Greatest Showman (2017). According to the upcoming President of Sign Soc, Natasha Smyth, “members had such an enjoyable time learning the signs and recording the video but we hope that following on from this experience, we can spark an interest in those who view it and in turn, more will want to learn and help create a more deaf-friendly environment at our University.'' 

The 2019 Sign Dub of ‘This Is Me’ has had a great reception from those within the society and their friends and families; however, the society is looking to inspire more people, not only at the University but in the city of Nottingham and the rest of the country too. The upcoming Vice-President of the society, Rebecca Hale says “I think there is a perception that it is difficult to learn sign language or that learning would take too much of your time, but hopefully the Sign Dub helps demonstrate how anyone can learn and in a fun, social way. We believe that everyone has the right to communicate and we try to promote an inclusive environment that can carry through into peoples’ lives”. The aim of the Sign Dub is not only to showcase the hard work of the society but to encourage more people to learn some signs and create more inclusive environments; you never know when knowing some sign will be useful.

Watch the Sign Dub video now, or search for ‘UoN Sign Language Society This is Me’ on YouTube. If you're interested in seeing what the society get up to and perhaps learn a few signs yourself, check out ‘uonsignsoc’ on Instagram. If you have any questions or would like to speak to us, please email: 


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