Monkey Manor has been created by Digital Giving for the national deaf healthcare charity, SignHealth as part of its annual fundraiser, sign2sing. It can be accessed via www.sign2sing.org.uk.
Steve Powell, chief executive at SignHealth, explained: “sign2sing is our world record breaking attempt for the most people signing and singing a song at the same time and takes place on February 6.
“This year we wanted to increase deaf awareness among the younger generation and believe Monkey Manor does this in a fun and engaging way.”
Monkey Manor features the children’s book character Olli the monkey, who loves to use sign language and goes to school at the Manor.
Steve continued: “Children can play on the interactive website and join Olli in his classroom to learn how to fingerspell the alphabet. They can hear the sign2sing song in his music room.
“It’s a great way for youngsters to learn about sign language and research has shown that when hearing children learn to sign their confidence, self-esteem, self expression and communication skills all improve.”
Teachers can register for the record breaking attempt and download digital resources, which include a free whiteboard app.
Steve said: “It’s the first time, as far as we’re aware, that sign language has been animated in the UK, so it’s been a real challenge for Digital Giving to get the signs to be accurate and clear, but we have ended up with a truly unique and fun tool to engage hearing and deaf audiences.”
sign2sing is SignHealth’s world record breaking attempt for the most people signing and singing a song at the same time while also raising money for the charity from a suggested £1 donation from everyone taking part.
The project is in its third year and the current record is 114,277. So far more than 850 schools have signed up to join in with the event.
Schools wishing to take part are invited to register their interest via www.sign2sing.org.uk.
The project is also promoted on Twitter at www.twitter.com/sign2sing and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/sign2sing.