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The Kid Should See This

Two-year-old Ava and her mum chat over dinner in sign language

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At 24-months-old, Ava knows a lot of words in British sign language (BSL). Ava and her mum Lilli enjoy some very cute dinner conversation. Both mom and daughter are deaf, and because her parents already knew how to sign when she was born, Ava started learning how to communicate from very early on. The dinner chat was shared in 2011.

Update from the BBC in 2014: When deaf videos go viral

When Nick Beese filmed a simple chat between his partner Lilli and his two-year-old daughter Ava, he had no idea that it would go on to register more than a million views. But this video is different from most home videos in one important respect. Both Lilli and Ava are deaf, and signing to one another.

It’s not particularly flashy – the camera is set up and left to record. There are no cutaways, no special effects, and no punchline. So why did everybody love it?

Deaf filmmaker Charlie Swinbourne believes that AVA Dinner Chat’s success is down to our interest in all family life. He says it had such a big impact because we learn something: “A lot of hearing people didn’t realise that many children in deaf families can communicate fully in sign language at 24 months.”

In 2019, the Beese family wrote a picture book titled Proud to be Deaf: Discover my community and my language.

signing over dinner
dinner chat
Watch more videos about deaf culture and sign language on this site.

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