We are glad to announce that on 27 April 2022 the BSL Bill passed its third reading in the House of Lords.
Now it's on the final stage and ready to receive Royal Assent from the Queen and become the BSL Act 2022.
British Sign Language will finally have legal recognition to the language of the UK's Deaf community. This will massively improve the lives of many Deaf people.
Lord Holmes of Richmond, the Lords sponsor of the Bill, said: “As a result of this Bill, BSL signers will be able to have such [hospital] appointments and all communications with the state in an inclusive manner.”
With the BSL ACT:
BSL will automatically have legal protection and Deaf people and BSL users will be able to access essential information and services in their first language
it will give Deaf people full and equal access to education, employment, public services, participate in political debates and issues, sit on a jury, etc...
it will help ensure BSL users are fully included in society
it will increase both the official status and public awareness of BSL.
Now it's important that the Government meets their commitments to the Act:
Establishing an Advisory Board where representatives of the Deaf community can advise public services
Increasing the numbers of registered interpreters
Improving the Access to Work provision for claimants and employers.
This is huge, and we would like to congratulate to David Buxton and de British Deaf Association for leading this all the way, and everyone who has campaigned long and hard over many years for this moment!
TIME TO CELEBRATE! 🥳