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      Google Doodle celebrates British Sign Language and the first school for deaf children

      06 September 2017

      Today is the first day of term and to mark the back to school rush Google is teaching the nation how to use British Sign Language (BSL).

      In true Google style, the team have transformed their homepage to celebrate the first ever school for deaf children in the UK, opened by Thomas Braidwood in 1760.

      And as a special touch, the tech company also consulted with national charity Action on Hearing Loss to create a fun video teaching the BSL alphabet.

      The Braidwood Academy, in Edinburgh, was famed for using its own method of teaching children with hearing loss, by combining a system of sign language, lip reading and the study of articulating.

      Braidwood particularly focused on the use of natural gestures to help emphasise the meaning of words, something that was not practised throughout Europe.

      Although the school no longer exists in Scotland, its teaching method has evolved into what we know today as British Sign Language (BSL), which is now used by 20,000 children across the UK.

      And just like many Brits have accents, depending on where they reside in the UK, BSL also has many regional dialects and its own slang terms.

      To mark this amazing achievement, today’s Doodle features schoolchildren using BSL to spell out Google to accompany the animation.

      So for today’s challenge, why not learn how to spell your name in BSL and share it with us on Twitter @actiononhearing

      Action on Hearing Loss is the largest charity for people with hearing loss in the UK and raises funds to provide support and care, and develop technology and treatments.

      Paul Breckell, chief executive of Action On Hearing Loss said: “It’s wonderful to have British Sign Language featured in the world’s most popular search engine. As a charity we are always happy to support the work that promotes better awareness of hearing loss, and highlights the history and culture of BSL.”

      To learn more about the work of the charity, visit the website



      For media enquiries contact

      Action on Hearing Loss PR Officer Simon Robb on 020 3227 6164 or Or call the out of hours line on 07944038635.

      Notes to Editors

      • Action on Hearing Loss (formerly RNID) is the national charity helping people confronting deafness, tinnitus and hearing loss to live the life they choose. Action on Hearing Loss enables them to take control of their lives and remove the barriers in their way, giving people support and care, developing technology and treatments, and campaigning for equality.

      • For more information about how Action on Hearing Loss supports those with deafness, tinnitus and hearing loss in local communities please visit the website: