Here at Water Babies, we work really hard to be inclusive: over the years, we’ve taught lots of children – and parents and carers, too – with all sorts of special and additional needs. So in the week following an Oscar-win for the poignant film ‘The Silent Child’, which is centred around a profoundy deaf 4-year-old girl and the importance of sign language in her life, we’re delighted that Water Babies has been recognised for our commitment to inclusivity by being officially endorsed by the leading charity, National Deaf Children’s Society, for our Me2Pledge to provide deaf-friendly swimming lessons.
We’ve been delivering deaf-friendly lessons to 50,000 babies and toddlers on a weekly basis across our international network since 2016. Water Babies is the one of the world’s first international early years companies to commit to making our lessons entirely inclusive for babies, toddlers, parents and carers with hearing impairments. Our lessons include baby sign language and swim cards to enable deaf swimmers to benefit equally from our multi-award winning lessons; and all Water Babies teachers are trained to make use of the techniques to ensure full inclusivity at our lessons.
Hannah Smith, Water Babies Head of Aquatics said: “Unfortunately, too many deaf children are currently being denied the opportunity to learn to swim as swimming providers don’t understand their needs.
“By working with the National Deaf Children’s Society, we have made the Me2Pledge that all of our lessons will be deaf-friendly, which will benefit hundreds of families.
“There is no such thing as a typical family and it is really important to everyone at Water Babies that all families feel they are able to attend our classes and enjoy the physical, emotional and mental benefits of swimming."