British Sign Language (BSL)

I strongly support a British Sign Language Bill being introduced to at last accord the proper legal status for British Sign Language (BSL).

I was elected on a manifesto that committed to “adopt a British Sign Language Act, giving BSL full legal recognition in law”. I stand by that commitment today.

You may know that I have championed the right of BSL to be given full legal recognition for years, but while this is important, I have also called for the removal of barriers that deaf and partially hearing people currently face in accessing services, information, support, and opportunities.

I want to see the Government provide proper funding for services and support alongside legal recognition of BSL to ensure that in education, healthcare and all other services, all people have truly equal access. And importantly, that public services are required to provide a BSL interpreter when dealing with a deaf or partially deaf individual.