Key Word Signing

  • 2 mins

What is ‘Key Word Signing’, and how does it support inclusive communication?

They say that the average person speaks 30,000 words a day. From talking to your family or friends, or to the barista down the street – communication is an important skill to navigate the world around us. For some children and adults, speaking and understanding speech is difficult, and this can result in reduced participation and social isolation.

Key Word Sign (KWS) is a communication system (borrowed from Auslan, the language of the Australian deaf community) and adds manual hand signs to spoken words. When speaking, the signs support the keywords of the message.

For example, if you wanted to say, “we have to go home to eat our lunch”, you would sign and emphasise the words, “we have to GO HOME to EAT our lunch”.

When using KWS, it is important to:

  • Speak in normal, grammatical sentences while signing.
  • Sign only the keywords in the sentences.
  • Use facial expressions and body language to assist.

Taking the time to learn this important skill helps to deliver effective and inclusive communication, providing context to everyone and reducing frustration experienced because of communication barriers.

Key Word Sign SA is offering training workshops (both in-person and virtually) to educate how to speak and understand Key Word Sign for use in everyday settings.

For further information or to book, click here.

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