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BSL Recognition: Tender to Improve Access & Demand for BSL


Following the meeting with the Prime Minister in February, the Department for Children Schools and Families are planning to announce the publication of a tender for a project to improve access to and demand for BSL.

The relevant DCSF page by Lord Adonis can be found here, and the direct link to the document is here [Word] (the link on their website does not work).

British Sign Language. I recognise the importance placed on British Sign Language by many in the deaf community and their desire to make sure it thrives as a language. Malcolm Bruce MP, the Chair of the APPG on Deafness, has been campaigning for legislation on this issue and for greater availability of signers and interpreters. He and many others here will be pleased to know that later this week my department is inviting organisations to bid for a project testing an approach to improving demand for and use of British Sign Language in a particular area or region. It is important that parents with deaf children are aware of BSL and can make informed choices as to its use with their children. We also need to share the expertise we have in those schools and colleges that use BSL amongst mainstream services.

Comment from GOD:
BSL March 2003 - BannersWhilst this is a practical step for families, and it even makes a government policy statement - it has the language of NDCS written all over it - to counteract all the medical agenda, "It is important that parents with deaf children are aware of BSL and can make informed choices as to its use with their children", it does not go far enough.

This is very much a single department response, and still fails to address the root issues that comes with BSL recognition. BSL recognition cannot be driven by project funding, e.g. more money for interpreters, funding for more websites for BSL. This is not what BSL recognition is about.

Deeper issues needs to be addressed first, and if project funding comes later as a result of addressing these issues, then all good. Continually aiming at short term solutions - whilst good for an organisation's balance sheet - is not in the interests of the greater good.

Ask the Readers:
What do you think? Drop us a line in the comments.

Department for Children, Schools and Families: Speech by Andrew Adonis : Children with Disabilities and Special Education Needs

See also:
The 5th anniversary of apathy BSL recognition
Photo Friday: Prime Minister Gordon Brown meets suit-types to discuss BSL

Comments (1)

I smell the NDCS! Umm, OK... but what about everything else? Where is the holistic solution? Where are the big bucks to pay for research, legal stuff and X Y Z? Far, far away, methinks. Too far to ever be seen? Discuss.

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