A voter has received an email from the Conservative Party telling her that the party will not be translating their manifesto into BSL due to “time constraints.”
The email, from the party’s Correspondence Unit, goes on to say that: “audio, easy read, and Braille formats will soon be available and we can also provide the Manifesto in large format.”
In her reply, the voter expressed her disappointment, pointing out: “The “time constraints” were hardly forced upon the Conservative Party – the election was called by your own leader.”
The lack of a BSL translation sets the Conservative Party apart from the Liberal Democrats and the Green Party, who both have BSL manifestos, while the Labour party has released a signed video from Dawn Butler MP, and say a full BSL translation is on the way.
Clearly none of the other parties have found “time constraints” a barrier despite having no warning of the snap election taking place.
You can find the BSL manifestos here:
- Liberal Democrats: http://www.libdems.org.uk/manifesto-british-sign-language
- Green Party (scroll down the page where there’s the option to see BSL translation videos of various policy areas): https://www.greenparty.org.uk/green-guarantee/all-manifestos-alternative-formats.html
- Labour: Dawn Butler MP video
With the Conservatives looking the most likely to win the election, the lack of a BSL manifesto effectively means that Deaf people who use BSL as their first language, and may have trouble accessing written English, will find it far harder to gain an understanding of what the party is actually aiming to do if, as expected, they win.
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