LONDON, MARCH 13, 2023: This Sign Language Week (13-19 March, 2023), Tinder, the world’s most popular app for meeting new people, is encouraging singletons to learn British Sign Language (BSL).
Responsible for 1.5 million dates every week*, Tinder is all about sparking connections between people that might not otherwise have met in their daily lives. A key part of meeting new people and dating is communication and to help singles be more confident in preparation for a date with BSL users, Tinder is releasing a new guide demonstrating how to sign common dating phrases, with a little help from deaf twins Hermon and Heroda (AKA @being__her) .
BSL is currently used by 150,000 people in the UK which means that the majority of the UK population do not use BSL, and do not know how to communicate using BSL1. This can lead to people who primarily use BSL facing challenges when it comes to finding their OTP (one true pairing). New research, commissioned by Tinder, reveals that 18-24 year old singles think more about how to communicate (90%) before a date, than who should pay the bill (72%)2. Yet, 71%, of this same group, would not feel confident dating someone who’s primary form of communication is BSL2.
Knowing a little sign language can go a long way. The dating sign language series produced with Hermon and Heroda shows how to sign key dating terms, to better prepare singles for dates with members of the deaf community and to raise awareness of the obstacles they may face. Signing phrases include: “I like your smile”, “I’m glad we matched” and “I’d like to see you again”.
On using BSL as a first language, Hermon and Heroda said: "Dating can be daunting, but being deaf can feel ten times more challenging because people can be very judgmental about deafness. We're teaming up with Tinder to encourage anyone who is interested in learning sign language and deaf culture to absolutely go for it. Be open-minded and patient, deafness doesn’t have to get in the way of true love.
Dating someone who is deaf or hard of hearing can lead to a deep and meaningful relationship, as long as you focus on your similarities rather than your physical differences. We have a wonderfully diverse culture with a beautifully expressive language to go along with it, which we'd love for you to learn all about!"
Tinder is also promoting deaf-led charity Deaf Action to celebrate the deaf community, raise awareness and encourage change and positivity. For those looking to further expand their BSL skills, Deaf Action is running a series of introductory courses to BSL supporting Tinder’s campaign. More information can be found on their webpage. The online courses are the perfect starting point for learning BSL, running for a duration of six weeks and taught by qualified deaf tutors.
Philip Gerrard, CEO at Deaf Action said: “Being born into a deaf family and having BSL as my first language, I take pride in having such a strong cultural deaf identity. Every year, National Sign Language Week celebrates when BSL was recognised as a language in the UK. We’re thrilled to be working with Tinder on this opportunity to spread deaf awareness, which will make a real impact on the challenge’s deaf people face particularly when it comes to dating.”
To help in feeling more confident, Tinder and Deaf Action are sharing a few helpful beginner’s tips for communicating with deaf or hard of hearing people:
Tips for being more deaf aware:
For any further information or queries please contact the team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Notes to editors
1 UK Gov, British Sign Language Act: Improving how government communicates with the Deaf community
2 Research conducted of 2000 18-24 year old singles in the UK by Opinium, on behalf of Tinder, March 2023
*internal Tinder data
Launched in 2012, Tinder is the world’s most popular app for meeting new people and has been downloaded more than 530 million times. The app is available in 190 countries and 45+ languages. More than half of all members are 18-25 years old. In 2022, Tinder was named one of the World’s Most Innovative Companies by Fast Company. Tinder is a registered trademark of Match Group, LLC.
About Hermon and Heroda
We are Hermi and Heroda, twin sisters and as content creators, we founded Being Her five years ago. We use our platform to advocate self-love, deaf awareness, accessibility, and equality, in the fashion, beauty, and lifestyle industries. We want the younger generation of deaf people to be fearless, so they don't have to be afraid of rejection; It is our job to be role models for them, making sure they will be successful and confident that the world has something positive to offer them. We share our unique stories and life barriers as young deaf, black, women in the fashion industry. We believe our authenticity is key to our success. We never stop fighting, breaking down barriers and we never stop dreaming.
About Deaf Action
Deaf Action is a deaf led charity based in Edinburgh, supporting people in Scotland and the South of England. Founded in 1835 it is the world’s oldest deaf charity and the first formally constituted deaf organisation.It exists to support the diversity of deaf people, including deaf users of BSL, and those who are deaf, deafblind or hard of hearing. Deaf Action’s work is geared towards empowering all deaf people to achieve their potential and fully participate in society, with equality of rights, access and opportunity. Almost half of the staff are deaf, and many more have grown up with deaf parents or siblings. Deaf Action truly understands the challenges deaf people face, and believes that its collective experience allows it to honestly position itself as having the expertise to unlock deaf people’s potential.