This year’s Sign Language Week has surpassed all expectations, with a range of articles and videos being released, and an MP signing a question in Parliament.
There’s no doubt that the profile of sign language and the issue of BSL recognition has been enhanced in the last few days – let’s hope it leads to wider Deaf awareness and even steps towards better legislation protecting the rights of sign language users.
If you missed them, below are 7 things you might have missed! (Please do comment and tell us about others we might have missed out!)
1. MP Dawn Butler signed a question in Parliament
Butler sent BSL into the headlines and received plaudits from many Deaf people on her Facebook page for signing a question in Parliament.
On the 14th anniversary of BSL recognition, she asked whether the government will allow time to give BSL legal status like other languages have done in the UK.
An Early Day Motion has been signed by over 20 MPs so far.
Read our story here.
2. Former MP Tom Levitt appeared on the BBC Radio 4 programme Today talking about BSL
Levitt, who also signed in Parliament 20 years ago, was interviewed by Nick Robinson, and talked about the difference between recognition and the language having legal status.
3. Dr Robert Adam appeared live on BBC News’ Facebook page
Adam, from the BDA and UCL, answered questions live on the BBC News Facebook page about an online petition for sign language to be on the National Curriculum. He was accompanied by a sign language interpreter.
Watch it above, or directly on Facebook here.
4. BBC Producer William Mager appeared on a podcast and wrote an article about deafness and BSL
I’m not a native sign language user. I didn’t grow up signing from an early age and I didn’t have any deaf friends as a kid. I went to a mainstream school where I was the only deaf child in class but I could get by with speaking and lip-reading.
But if a deaf person had met me 20 years ago, they would have been shocked at my inability to communicate with them.
Learning sign language changed all that and brought many benefits to my life.
Read his full article here.
5. The BDA launched a dedicated website for Sign Language Week
On the site, high-profile figures in the Deaf Community such as Paula Garfield (from Deafinitely Theatre) uploaded videos about their careers, along with young people and supporters.
Take a look here.
6. Clark Denmark signed live on BBC Breakfast News
Just this morning, Clark Denmark, who is a hugely respected figure in the Deaf Community, signed live in-vision on BBC Breakfast news.
7. The BBC published a video asking if sign language should be taught in schools
The video featured Deaf children explaining why it would help them if more people learned to sign with them, and the wider benefits of learning to sign too. Don’t miss it!
Watch the video here.
By Charlie Swinbourne, Editor
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.
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- Signature: Leading awarding body for BSL qualifications
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- BSLcourses.co.uk: Provider of online BSL courses
- Association of Notetaking Professionals: The professional body representing Electronic and Manual Notetakers
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