JAMES Kerwin would love to see more people using sign language in Toowoomba - and his new course will be a step in that direction.

Mr Kerwin, who is deaf, said learning Australian sign language, or Auslan, had "tremendous" benefits.

"It helps you to communicate with deaf people you know and come across. You get to learn another language that is very useful (and) it helps you to think visually and spatially," he said.

"The biggest challenge for people learning Auslan is thinking visually and not in English.

"It is a separate language with its own grammar and structure."

The primary school teacher said he was hoping to see many people step up the challenge of learning such a different skill.

"It would be wonderful to have more people in the general public to sign, especially in a small city like Toowoomba," he said.

"The coffee places and shops that I frequent often pick up some basic signs.

"Deaf people shop (and) use services...just like anyone else."

The eight-week course begins on July 3 and runs each Wednesday from either 11am - 12pm or 7pm - 8pm.

The course cost is $200, and numbers are limited to 10 people.



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