Funding for learning British Sign Language (BSL)
Wiltshire and Dorset Deaf Association is not funded by the government Skills Funding Agency so is not able to offer reduced or free courses to 19 – 23-year olds, other than concessions for students who are deaf or have deaf dependents. You can also pay your course fee in three instalments.
Some local authorities offer funding for places on accredited courses from local providers. However, funding does not always cover assessment fees.
If you are deaf, you may be able to get some help to pay for your BSL course. Look into these organisations:
• The Birkdale Trust for Hearing Impaired may be able to offer you a grant to pay for a BSL course. http://www.grantsforthedeaf.co.uk/
• The Family Fund may be able to help you pay for a BSL course. https://www.familyfund.org.uk
If you live in England and your child has an Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan they and your family may be given the option to use a Special Educational Needs (SEN) Personal Budget (also known as ‘individual budget’ or ‘direct payment’) to buy in support you need. This could be used for sign language tuition, for example. However, at present, there are few examples of deaf children receiving Personal Budgets.
Other local learning providers such as Skills and Learning Bournemouth Poole and Dorset offer equivalent level 1 and 2 courses but without qualifications that are eligible for government funding. https://www.skillsandlearningbdp.co.uk/
If you don’t have the money to pay for a BSL course right now don’t forget it’s free to learn BSL if you go out and meet other people and have friends who know BSL. Learning BSL can be fun, especially if you can practise with someone else. If you know another BSL user, you can try signing together.
WDDA also put on regular, one day BSL Workshops for Beginners, that provide you with the opportunity to develop and practise BSL skills at your own level. You will meet and sign with other students and tutors in an informal and fun environment. Our workshops are a great opportunity to prepare for the start of formal courses or assessments.