It’s part of a move to increase the visibility of deaf people
Author: Rory GannonPublished 49 minutes ago
Last updated 49 minutes ago
British Sign Language (BSL) is set to become an officially recognised language in the UK, after a bill in Parliament received government support.
The move comes as part of a government scheme to improve the visibility and accessibility of deaf people across the country.
Introduced by Labour MP Rosie Cooper, a Private Members’ Bill will promote BSL to an officially recognised language, meaning that BSL will be used in pubic service announcements.
If the Bill is passed, an advisory board would be launched by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) for users of BSL on where it should be used and how it should best be used to foster more speakers.
The Bill is also being popularised by Strictly Come Dancing winner Rose Ayling-Ellis, who is urging MPs to back the law.
Speaking about the Bill, Ms Cooper MP said it was important for the deaf community to be represented.
“The deaf community have constantly had to fight to be heard. This Bill sends a clear message that they deserve equal access and will be treated as equal,” she said.
Minister for the DWP, Chloe Smith, also gave her support to the proposal, saying that more people can develop their skills.
She said: “Effective communication is vital to creating a more inclusive and accessible society, and legally recognising British Sign Language in Great Britain is a significant step towards ensuring that deaf people are not excluded from reaching their potential.
“Passing the Bill will see (the) Government commit to improving the lives of deaf people, and will encourage organisations across the nation to take up the BSL mantle, benefitting both themselves and the deaf community.”
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