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’.
The Limping Chicken is the world's most popular Deaf blog, and is edited by Deaf journalist and filmmaker Charlie Swinbourne. Find out how to write for us by clicking here, how to follow us by clicking here, and read our disclaimer here.
The site exists thanks to our supporters. Check them out below:
- Ai-Media: Remote captioning. Find out about the Deaf fashion bloggers taking on the world!
- Bellman & Symfon: home alerting solutions
- Deaf Umbrella: sign language interpreting and communications support
- Appa: Communication services for Deaf, Deafblind and hard of hearing people
- SignLive: Online video interpreting for Deaf people
- SignVideo: Instant BSL video interpreting online
- 121 Captions: captioning and speech-to-text services
- Signature: Leading awarding body for BSL qualifications
- The National Theatre: Captioned and BSL accessible theatre in London
- Doncaster School for the Deaf: education for Deaf children
- Signworld: Learn BSL online!
- Association of Notetaking Professionals: The professional body representing Electronic and Manual Notetakers
- Sign Solutions: communication support, training and translation
- InterpretersLive: On demand BSL video interpretation
- Cast Theatre, Doncaster: The UK's the UK’s first fully BSL integrated pantomime
- Hamilton Lodge School in Brighton: education for Deaf children
- Lipspeaker UK: specialist lipspeaking support
- Ozen: Australian hearing aid specialists
- Elmfield School, Bristol: Inclusive education for Deaf pupils
- deafPLUS: BSL advice helpline
- Exeter Deaf Academy: education for Deaf children
- Royal Shakespeare Company: Captioned and BSL interpreted performances (see dates here)
- Royal School for the Deaf, Derby: Residential education for deaf children
- RAD Tax Advice: Tax and Tax Credit info for Deaf people
- Deaf Independent: Deaf care and support services
- Performance Interpreting: BSL interpreting at concerts
- National Deaf Children's Society: The leading charity for deaf children
- cSeeker: Deaf-led educational communication support service
- Signed Culture: Advocating for BSL access to arts and culture
- SignHealth: healthcare charity for Deaf people
- CJ Interpreting: communication support in BSL
- Action Deafness Communications: sign language and Red Dot online video interpreting
- BSLcourses.co.uk: Provider of online BSL courses
- British Society for Mental Health and Deafness: Promoting positive mental health for deaf people