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. More than 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. Supporting communication between parents, children and siblings, Lámh is used as a stepping stone for children and adults with intellectual disabilities to communicate with the world. Lámh is based on and adapted from Irish Sign Language (ISL ) and natural gesture.
While schools are closed and families are staying at home, Lámh would like to support families and carers as much as possible. Lámh is offering free temporary access to more than 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.
Recently, Lámh tutor Deirdre Coleman has introduced puppets to help teach Lámh signs on the Instagram channel, lamhsign. The new puppets, Larry and Loulou, have received a great response. With more than 5,000 followers, Lámh’s Instagram page showcases key Lámh signs, songs and activities for Lámh 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 Lámh’s online resources will give some support to families, carers and Lámh users during this time.”
To get free access to Lámh signs online resources go to www.lamhsigns.org and use the code lovelamh.