The Royal Association for Deaf people has said it was delighted to see Dawn Butler (MP for Brent Central) raise a question in sign language in Parliament today.
Ms Butler asked the Government to introduce the British Sign Language (BSL) Act to give BSL full legal status.
Watch the video below on Dawn Butler’s Facebook page (or click here to see it directly).
In England BSL was recognised as an official minority language in 2003 but government recognition has not led to any new legal rights for BSL users.
The charity says Ms Butler’s question will help to raise awareness about the lack of accessible information for Deaf people and encourage Parliament to consider the importance of a BSL Act.
RAD added that a BSL Act has the potential to make a difference to Deaf people. It could mean Deaf people have true equality of access for the first time in history. It could ensure that people who provide services have to think about how accessible their information is to Deaf people.
Dr Jan Sheldon, CEO of The Royal Association for Deaf people said:
‘Ms Butler’s question today should at the very least prick the conscience of our Government. In 2003 Deaf people were delighted that BSL had been recognised; they thought this would make a difference to their lives; sadly this has not been the case. BSL is an important indigenous language that should not only be recognised but its use encouraged through legislation. Only then will Deaf people stand any chance of equality of access’.
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