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Parliament: Prime Minister agrees to meet a BSL delegation

Yesterday Malcolm Bruce asked the Prime Minister a question in relation to BSL recognition:

Malcolm Bruce (Gordon, Liberal Democrat)

Will the Prime Minister acknowledge that while the Government rightly give tens of millions of pounds every year to support indigenous British languages such as Welsh and Gaelic, another British language—British sign language—gets no such support. Will the Prime Minister meet me, and a delegation of sign language users, to discuss how the Government can meet their needs, as they are currently failing to do?

To which the reply was:

Gordon Brown (Prime Minister)

I am grateful to the right hon. Gentleman for raising that issue, and I will be very happy to meet him. It is a very important issue, and we will see what we can do together.

It is understood that various individuals approached Malcolm Bruce at CACDP's 25th anniversary the day before, and brought up the issue of BSL recognition.

Whilst such a question has to be welcomed, my concerns are:

a) why has BSL recognition been reduced to money, or possibly an indication of project funding (again)? Sure we need funding to happen, but this is about language rights, and without such rights an equality being secured, we don't have BSL recognition;

b) does the question assume that the government recognises BSL, since it does not ask anything about this? What happened to legal recognition?

b) who such a delegation to see the Prime Minister would be? The question focuses on sign language users (as opposed to Deaf people) which could be seen as a good thing, but will Deaf people lead this? Whilst many people are passionate about BSL recognition, and have some concept in their head they want to promote sign language, few people actually grasp what it recognition really means.

So who's going to lead from here? UKCoD? Are we going to have a pathetic repeat of 2003?

They Work for You (question)
They Work for You (answer)

See also:
Government response on BSL & the UN Convention of Human Rights for Disabilities
Parliament: BSL on websites & recognition of BSL
So, was the BSL Recognition campaign all a waste of time?

Comments (2)

Im with you here, im here in Ireland, and we have the same situation, Sign language in general in most countries are not recognised, and I dont mean promoting the language and saying everyone should know it or anything, but in fairness, we have a ligitimate language, why isnt it recognised under laws and politics its silly!

sorry, Is him an auDist ??
why after 2003 - european year of the disability people (the Deaf Community is winning for the Sign Language and other law) - the UK Parliament pratice now Oralism and auDism ??
Who make of this Discrimination and Where is the Discrimination Act power ??
please, you answer us the Italian and European People .....hurry hurry

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