In this anniversary year, the BDA is working to get politicians to focus again on British Sign Language!
This March sees ten years since the government first recognised British Sign Language as a UK minority language. Now the British Deaf Association (BDA) is working to get BSL back onto politicians’ radar screens.
David Buxton, Chief Executive of the BDA, said,
“Ten years on from recognition, we need the government to re-engage with the many thousands of people who use British Sign Language, whether as their first language or alongside English. There are still too many barriers that prevent Deaf people from participating in, and contributing equally to, society.”
“We must keep campaigning for a BSL Act to improve Deaf people’s lives in the long term. In the short term, we must also campaign to get some specific improvements to Deaf people’s lives. There are lots of changes that local authorities and health services could make – we will need a campaign on the ground as well as at Westminster.”
“In this anniversary year, we want to work with the Deaf people across the country who are crying out for change. We want to give them the training and the campaigning tools to win improvements to services where they live.”
On Monday 18 March – ten years to the day from recognition of BSL – the BDA, together with the Royal Association for Deaf People (RAD) and Signature, is holding a reception at the House of Commons to talk to MPs and the government about what needs to happen next. Numberous MPs, peers and charities will be attending. They will hear directly from deaf children and their families and from Deaf young people and adults. Esther McVey MP, the Minister for Disabled People, will speak and take questions. The host will be Sir Malcolm Bruce MP, Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Deafness.
Sir Malcom Bruce MP has put down an “Early Day Motion” (a kind of parliamentary petition) that calls for the government to do more to support BSL users. We want as may MPs as possible to sign this to get the government to take notice. So please email your MP and ask them to sign the EDM. You can use the sample email that can be found on the BDA website; www.bda.org.uk – please personalise this as much as you can because MPs respond best to personal messages.
To find out who your MP is, please click on http://findyourmp.parliament.uk and enter your postcode. To get the MP’s email address, you then click on the MP’s name and use the email address under “Parliamentary”, It should end “parliament.uk”.
Remember that some MPs have already signed the EDM. You can check if yours has by clicking here: http://parliament.uk/edm/2012-13/1167
Please share this information with your contacts and the others. Thank you!
*Content taken from an email from BDA*