10 years ago this month, BSL was recognised by the government after a campaign that led to Deaf people marching on the streets of London.
For some, that breakthrough was the end of the fight, but since then, many Deaf people have said that without rights in law, BSL recognition didn’t make as much difference as it could have done.
Many have said that what the Deaf community really need is a BSL Act to enshrine the rights of BSL users in law when they are accessing services like healthcare or education.
Now, a new Facebook group called ‘Spit the dummy and campaign for a BSL Act’ has united a number of key members of the Deaf community behind the issue, gaining nearly 4000 members in just a few days.
There, influential people like John Smith, the Deaf comedian, Lee Robertson (below), Deaf actor Matt Kirby, James Clarke, former campaigner Jen Dodds, and many more have posted videos in BSL about the need for an Act.
They say the Equality Act isn’t strong enough and that it’s time for the Deaf community to “spit the dummy out” and do something about it.
When BSL was recognised, the driving force was the Federation of Deaf People. Will this new movement, linked online through social networking, lead to a new campaigning organisation that can help a BSL Act become reality?
We’ll have a blog about this later in the week – but for now, we’ll be keeping a close eye on the Facebook group for further developments.
Check out the Facebook group here: http://www.facebook.com/groups/bslact/
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