Support groups are a fantastic way to deal with all situations; here are some of the reasons it’s important to establish support groups early on:
- Feeling empowered: You can learn from and support each other by having a support group in place. Having your skills re-affirmed by peers within your group can make you feel empowered about yourself and your skills.
- A clear understanding of what to expect: instead of thinking, “how do I sign this” or “what was that multi-channel sign” you now have a group you can turn to for reminders or reinforcements of what’s been learnt.
- A chance to be open and honest: when boundaries or rules are put into place in a support group (e.g. keeping opinions in a safe space), you have an opportunity to express the fears or worries you will undoubtedly have about learning BSL. You’ll probably find that others in your support group will face these fears too, meaning you won’t feel as lonely.
- Reflection: support groups are a fantastic way to talk through challenges and reflect on how things could have been different or improved – constructive group feedback is always a win!