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Early Day Motion: Legal Protection for and Promotion of Sign Languages

Malcolm Bruce MP has an Early Day Motion in Parliament for the Legal Protection and Promotion of Sign Languages, specifically relating to the Council of Europe and the Charter:

Early Day Motion

EDM 775
30.01.2007

LEGAL PROTECTION FOR AND PROMOTION OF SIGN LANGUAGES

Bruce, Malcolm

That this House calls for legal protection of, support for and promotion of British and Irish sign languages in accordance with Council of Europe resolutions, recognising that it is estimated that over 200,000 British residents regularly use sign language, many of them as a first language; calls for the parents of deaf children to be given free tuition in sign language and information and choice over the role sign language can play in their child's development, for sign language to be offered a school curriculum option to increase awareness of the languages and to increase the potential pool of interpreters, and for deaf adults to be given the opportunity to study their own language at degree level and to be given the right to a free interpreter and other communications support services in a wide range of circumstances; further calls on the Government to adopt the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, in particular Article 21(b), which calls on governments to `accept and facilitate the use of sign languages'; and requests that sign language users be provided with the resources they require in comparable terms to the users of other UK minority languages such as Welsh and Gaelic, which receive more than one hundred times the funding provided to promote and protect sign language.

Again, core activists have not campaigned for the Charter route, suggesting this route offers too little protection. Who is consulting here, and those in deaf organisations are you actually legal experts? I think not. What worries me is that a watered down campaign is (again) happening, and is miles apart from what people out there really want. Representation: where is it?

In relation to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, what is WFD doing here? Where is the clear distinction for language?

The other thing, why is an EDM being pursued in a UK parliament, for a European matter?

Bottom line, this whole thing lacks a clear vision.

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