A Young Girl Decided to Learn Sign Language to Give a Tender Message to Her Deaf Delivery Man
Approximately 2% of people in the US are deaf or nearly deaf, and many others report having difficulties with hearing even if they are not totally deaf. According to World Federation of the Deaf statistics, the population of deaf people around the world totals more than 70 million, and more than 80% of these individuals live in developing countries. Because of these facts, many people in both developed and developing nations rely on sign language to interact with their loved ones and friends and conduct business.
Those who don’t have hearing problems often have close friends, relatives or associates who have hearing difficulties, but hearing people typically don’t go out of their way to learn the universal language of signing. This is true even though sign language is one of the world’s easiest languages to master. However, one young girl in the United Kingdom went above and beyond the call of duty to learn sign language when she discovered that her favorite local delivery driver was deaf.
A Kind Gesture to Learn Sign Language Moves Thousands of People around the World
Eight-year-old Tallulah McLellan of Ashton-under-Lyne, a market town in Greater Manchester, England showed a level of empathy and kindness far ahead of her years when she learned sign language to be able to interact with her deaf neighborhood delivery driver Tim Joseph, who visits her family’s home once or twice a week to convey parcels. A touching video of the two friends communicating in sign language quickly became popular on social media, as thousands were touched by Tallulah’s loving gesture and her sweet, innocent relationship with Tim.
This is our @Hermesparcels delivery man, we see him 1 or 2 times a week, start of lockdown Tallulah drew him a #thankyou 🌈, he still has it proudly on show in his van, they have built up quite a friendship over these last few weeks @ststephensaud #proudmum pic.twitter.com/JELmaibyIM
— Amy Mclellan (@mummybear1903) June 19, 2020
A Special Bond Developed During the Lockdown
The bond between young Tallulah and delivery man Tim started at the beginning of the corona virus lockdown, when Tallulah drew him a #thankyou rainbow in appreciation of all his diligent efforts delivering packages to her family and other people in the area. Touched by this caring act, Tim taped the picture to the window of his truck for everyone to see. From then on, Tallulah and Tim developed a special friendship, greeting each other warmly on delivery mornings. Tim still proudly displays the rainbow drawing in his delivery van. After that initial gesture of kindness, the two unlikely pals built a strong bond over the ensuing weeks.
Tallulah Gave Tim the Greatest Surprise He Could Imagine
Then one day after one of his regular deliveries to her home, Tallulah amazed Tim by using sign language to say “Have a good day!” to him. Tim was deeply touched by the girl’s effort to learn sign language and her endearing statement. He said the morning surprise “made [his] day” and that he was “shocked” when Tallulah signed a message to him. Tim then took the opportunity to teach Tallulah to sign a few more common phrases, such as “Good morning, have a good day,” which she went on to sign back to him on his subsequent delivery days to her home.
Tallulah’s mother Amy made a video of the whole event and shared it online, hoping to help cheer others up during the pandemic’s stressful times. Tim was also amazed and encouraged at the reception Amy’s video received from viewers. He hopes that it will encourage more people to learn sign language and thus help improve the position of deaf people in our society.
The Epilogue to the Heartwarming Event
The video has since been shared thousands of times online via social media, with many viewers being moved by Tallulah’s compassionate act, and commenting on the extraordinary nature of the interaction between her and Tim. The video of the Tallulah and Tim’s interactions inspired many people who saw it to start learning sign language, thus making Tim extremely happy. If more people will learn the inclusive universal language of signing, fewer deaf people will feel disempowered, society as a whole will become more all-inclusive, and humans will be able to connect with one another more successfully. We should all take young Tallulah McLellan as a role model and strive to reach out to the deaf people in our lives through sign language.
The Importance of Learning Sign Language to Interact with Deaf People
Many of the signs used in sign language are routine gestures that we all use every day to communicate non-verbally with one another. Both children and adults can pick up on the signs quickly and most are eager to use them in daily life. The fact that it is so easy to become skilled at helps to encourage people to try learning it.
That being said, sign language can be seen as a missing component in our international educational system. Its uses are many and it may well be the most versatile language that anyone could ever learn. Here are some reasons why it’s so useful and adaptable:
It Is Used Around the World
For millions of people in the US alone, sign language is their native language. Worldwide the deaf community is everywhere. But because the language is articulated silently, it can go unnoticed by people in the surrounding environment. Those who work in restaurants or retail establishments eventually run into customers who sign. And while most members of the deaf community are skilled lip readers, they always relish the chance to interact in their native language.
Have you ever traveled to a foreign country where you knew just enough of the local language to get by? Then when you hear someone speaking your mother tongue, do you smile and do your eyes light up? In such instances people love to hear their native language spoken. Likewise, those who communicate in sign language are fond of seeing their natural language being used by others.
It Becomes Extremely Useful in Daily Life
Sign language can turn out to be the most frequently used language you ever learn. For example, sign language can come to the rescue if you need to communicate with someone across a large noisy room without shouting. Or if you temporarily lose your voice, you can turn to sign language to express yourself. Communicating in sign language also comes in handy if you’re on the phone and you need to exchange a few words with someone in the same room without interrupting your phone conversation.
Sign Language is Beautiful!
As with any other language, there are no negative aspects to knowing and using sign language. It’s beautiful to witness, elegant in its forms, and highly expressive as a means of communication. The benefits of knowing sign language are endless and it’s just as easy to learn as any other form of verbal communication. Whether you’re a deaf/hard of hearing or hearing person, it’s sure to improve your life and make you a better communicator in all of your daily affairs.
Available Resources for Learning Sign Language
Numerous resources are on hand for learning sign language. The internet is packed with various tools, such as e-books that are ideal for learning basic signs. Also, look into the DVDs that visually demonstrate how the signs work as well as the accompanying facial expressions that represent the “tone” of sign language. Finally, check out your local colleges and universities for sign language classes and register as your schedule permits.
Look More Deeply Into This Communications Jewel and Learn Sign Language
Sign language is a highly practical tool that’s also fun and easy to learn for people of all ages. It’s a beautiful form of verbal communication that can be used anywhere in the world at anytime. These days, Spanish and Chinese are useful tools to learn for conducting international business and engaging in other activities. However, learning sign language could be one of the best decisions you’ll ever make, as it is global in scope, flexible in use, and beneficial for all who communicate with it, deaf and hearing alike.