With the British government poised to support the passage of the British Sign Language Bill, British Sign Language (BSL) is on track to become a recognized language in the U.K.
The bill, introduced by Member of Parliament Rosie Cooper, would improve accessibility for deaf people and promote the use of BSL during public service announcements. If the bill passes, an advisory board of BSL users would be established to offer guidance to the Department for Work and Pensions on ways to increase the number of BSL interpreters.
“The deaf community has constantly had to fight to be heard. This bill sends a clear message that they deserve equal access and will be treated as equal,” Cooper said.
“Deaf people still do not have access to the same essential information and services that are available to the hearing population,” said David Buxton, chief executive officer of the British Deaf Association. “The Equality Act does not cover linguistic rights, and we are forced to rely on inadequate disability discrimination legislation to access information in our own language.”
“Effective communication is vital to creating a more inclusive and accessible society, and legally recognizing BSL in Great Britain is a significant step towards ensuring that deaf people are not excluded from reaching their potential,” said Minister of State (Minister for Disabled People, Health and Work) Chloe Smith.
Read Full Article from The Guardian (United Kingdom) (01/27/22)
Author: Ambrose, Tom
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