Where the idea came from.
While doing the grocery shopping one evening, my father spotted some commotion near the restrooms and naturally he wandered over to see if he could be of any assistance. In the middle of a gathering of customers was a woman that appeared to be very upset, confused and nearing hysterics. It turned out the woman had been using BSL to communicate, (her only form of communication) and needed to know if the disabled facilities are for both male and female customers. Having used Makaton at work for a number of years, my father was able to communicate with the distressed customer and inform her that 'yes, these toilets are for men and women.' With the overwhelming gratitude the woman showed, (she was almost in tears), we realised there was a problem and felt we could do something about it.
A few months later I was sat watching a T.V show in a retail setting when two customers entered the shop signing with one another. Noticing this, a member of staff approached the customers and began signing with them. 'Brilliant!' I thought. This guy had gone out of his way to learn a skill, and as far as I could see it was for the benefit of others. Hats off!! However, I was reminded of the woman in the supermarket and realised the problem she was facing. Why didn't I already know that the guy in the shop could sign to communicate? How are people whose sole method of communication is sign supposed to know whom in public they can approach for information?
Thus, isign was born. I got a pencil and paper, spent a few weeks designing how I wanted the badge to look, saved up some money and bought samples. We really hope this simple idea can make a big difference in peoples lives. The isign badge aims to increase deaf awareness, assist those in our community that use any form of sign to communicate and also encourage more people to pick up a few helpful signs along the way.
We promise not to bombard your email inbox with pesky promos or nuisance newsletters. Just an invoice for any items bought.