Deaf Fife girl’s sign language duet with Lewis Capaldi goes viral

A deaf Fife schoolgirl has said she wants to inspire others in her position after a video of a sign language duet with popstar Lewis Capaldi racked up hundreds of thousands of views online.

10-year-old Niamdh Braid from Glenrothes went viral overnight after a social media campaign saw her achieve a dream of performing backstage with singer-songwriter Capaldi ahead of his appearance at the Belladrum Tartan Heart festival in the Highlands.

Niamdh with Lewis Capaldi.

Niamdh with Lewis Capaldi.

Niamdh was born with bilateral sensorineural hearing loss and now relies on hearing aids, sign language and lip reading to communicate.

Her mum Sam said that Niamdh wants to show other deaf kids what they can achieve fter she won plaudits for her British Sign Language (BSL) duet of Capaldi's smash-hit single Someone You Loved at the festival.

Sam put the video on her Facebook page, where it has been viewed almost 500,000 times and shared nearly 8,000 times.

The family were invited backstage on Saturday evening before Capaldi's headline slot, where the singer posed for pictures with Niamdh and her brother Billy, 8, who is also a huge fan.

Niamdh (right) and her brother Billy with Lewis Capaldi.

Niamdh (right) and her brother Billy with Lewis Capaldi.

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Originally, there were plans for Niamdh to sign alongside the global star on stage, but the family believe health and safety concerns prevented that from happening.

Sam was full of praise for the Belladrum organisers and Capaldi himself, who she praised as a 'genuinely lovely, down to earth guy.'

She said: "Niamdh was absolutely elated that Lewis took the time to sing with her, and Billy is a massive fan and he made a huge deal of meeting Billy too.

"He was such a down-to-earth guy, he even admitted he was nervous and he was great with the kids, he even posed for pictures in the glasses he is famous for wearing in videos and gave them to the kids as a gift.”

Sam and her husband Stephen take their children to the family friendly festival every year, and Niamdh, who attends Pitteuchar West Primary School, wanted to use the opportunity to increase awareness of issues facing those who use BSL to communicate.

Sam said: "All Niamdh wanted to do was raise some awareness, and show other deaf children that you can do anything you want to do."

She said Niamdh's viral fame was especially fitting giving it came on the same day that new figures highlight the scale of the 'deaf attainment gap' facing pupils in Scotland.

Deaf pupils were found to be eight times more likely to leave school with no qualification than classmates with hearing.

Sam said: "We've campaigned on the issue of Government cuts to education, and the impact that has on deaf children and want the Scottish Government to take note of the challenges for deaf pupils."