Deaf News: BDA claim there are 156,000 BSL users in the UK

Posted on October 2, 2013


The British Deaf Association (BDA) has welcomed the findings from the Scottish Census 2011, released last week, which states there are 13,000 people using British Sign Language (BSL) in Scotland.

The Scottish census form included a specific question about those “using BSL at home”.

Using the Scottish figure of 13,000 people and extrapolating this across the whole of the UK, the charity believe that there are around 156,000 people using BSL at home in the United Kingdom, which greatly contradicts the UK Census 2011 which produced a figure of 15,000 using BSL UK-wide.

The British Deaf Association believes 156,000 to be the most accurate figure yet achieved.

BDA Chief Executive, David Buxton, said: “We believe these new figures make it even more important that BSL receives the protection that can only be achieved through legal recognition of the language. We ask that BSL be treated equally to other languages such as Scottish Gaelic and Welsh.”

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Posted in: deaf news