Lámh has opened up free access to Lámh Signs online until the end of May while families and carers are staying home amid the coronavirus pandemic, with over 4,200 people have signed up in the last two weeks.
Lámh is a key sign system used by children and adults with intellectual disability and communication needs in Ireland. It differs from ‘sign language’ which is typically used by people with hearing issues.
The sign system supports communication between parents, children and siblings, and is used as a stepping stone for children and adults with intellectual disabilities to communicate with the world. It is based on and adapted from Irish Sign Language (ISL) and natural gesture.
While schools are closed and families are staying at home, Lámh are offering free temporary access to over 580 Lámh signs available online including relevant safety Lámh signs for Wash Hands, Space, Clean and so much more.
These online resources feature videos of presenters which show the Lámh sign, which can then be copied and practiced alongside any other information a Lámh user may need. Those demonstrating the signs include families who use Lámh themselves.
To get free access to Lámh signs online resources go to www.lamhsigns.org and use the code 'lovelamh'.
Recently, Lámh tutor, Deirdre Coleman has introduced puppets, Larry and Loulou, to help teach Lámh signs on their Instagram channel (@lamhsign). With over 5,000 followers, Lámhs Instagram page showcases key signs, songs and activities for users. Videos of Lámh signers have also been featured on RTE’s HomeSchool Extra show.
Mary Cullen, Manager of Lámh said “Usually Lámh users, families, teachers, SNAs and others start to learn Lámh signs face-to-face where more information and support can be given. But during the coronavirus pandemic, families are at home, routines are changed, school is out, and Lámh courses have been postponed. We hope that Lámhs online resources will give some support to families, carers and Lámh users during this time.”