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Israelle, 6, teaches BSL on Instagram

bsl on instagram
Six-year-old Israelle is just starting primary school, but she’s already a teacher for thousands of people on Instagram who are learning British Sign Language (BSL) from her videos.

Izzy and her mom have been producing the short video clips on the Instagram account @iamisraelle.

“It all started with Signing Sundays, then Two-Signs Tuesdays, and it was literally just to show what Izzy was learning in BSL,” her mom says. “She wanted to do even more videos which lead to Sign of the Day! Now she can do it any day of the week.”

Raising bilingual children with hearing loss

teaching Bsl on instagramIsraelle is the first deaf person in her family, so she’s paved her own way as a kid with hearing loss. One thing that is important as a family, however, is being able to communicate in multiple ways.

“I have severe bilateral hearing loss since the age of 3, and I have to wear hearing aids,” she says. “I am now learning how to communicate with BSL as well as speech.”

While her Phonak hearing aids give Izzy better access to sounds and speech, sign language gives her more access to communication, her mother says. “For this reason, we are now actively learning British Sign Language as a family.”


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A post shared by Israelle (@iamisraelle)

Teaching others about hearing loss

Izzy, who says she wants to be a nurse when she grows up so she can help people who are sick, says that she wants her classmates and friends to know that she wears hearing aids, and that they help her hear everything better.

“There’s nothing wrong with your hearing aids because they are there to help,” she says.

For kids who aren’t comfortable wearing their hearing aids, she suggests “they ask their parents to use stickers and glitter to make them look cool and fancy!”

Watch: How to decorate your hearing aids

She also uses a Phonak Roger Mic so she can focus in noisy situations, such as the playground at school.

Read more: Why we use the Phonak Roger On

Advocating for your child with hearing loss 

While Izzy’s mom says just one piece of advice is hard to give, she says that advocating as much as possible for your child is the best thing you can do.

“They can’t do it for themselves right now, so we have to be the driving force behind making sure they have all the support they need and deserve,” she says. “Give them all possible modes of access to communication, (e.g. hearing devices, sign language, etc…).”

Read more: How to advocate for your child with hearing loss 

Author Details
The HearingLikeMe editorial team includes Jill Blocker von Bueren and Lisa Goldstein.