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Update - BSL Recognition: The Way Ahead

15 March 2013

Update - BSL Recognition: The Way Ahead

To mark the tenth anniversary of the official recognition of British Sign Language as a UK minority language, the British Deaf Association (BDA) and The Deafness Cognition and Language Research Centre at University College London (DCAL) are holding an evening seminar on Tuesday 19th March 2013, ‘BSL Recognition: The Way Ahead’.

Robert Adam, the convenor of the seminar, said:

“It is exactly ten years since the government recognised British Sign Language. The seminar will consider how this has really benefited Deaf people and what needs to happen next to ensure BSL is adequately recognised within political legal and policy frameworks.”

David Buxton, chief executive of the BDA, said,

“Ten years after recognition, we need the government to re-engage with the many thousands of people who use British Sign Language, whether as their first language or alongside English. There are still too many barriers that prevent Deaf people from participating and contributing equally in society.”

The seminar is now fully booked but a transcript of the event will be made available via the DCAL website to anyone with an interest in Deaf issues, human rights and equality law, as well as minority languages.

Speakers will include:

  • Robert Adam: Deaf researcher from DCAL and a seasoned Deaf campaigner
  • David Buxton: Chief executive of the British Deaf Association. He has a long history of campaigning and political involvement.
  • Dr Paddy Ladd: Deaf researcher from the Centre of Deaf Studies, University of Bristol, who first proposed the Deafhood framework for analyzing Deaf culture. He will be discussing cultural rights with respect to the Deaf Community.
  • Dr Terry Riley: Chair of the BDA, former editor of BBC “See Hear”, Board Member of the World Federation of the Deaf (WFD).
  • Maartje De Meulder: Deaf researcher from the Department of Languages, University of Jyväskylä, Finland, researching sign language recognition legislation and also involved in the campaign for the successful recognition of Flemish Sign Language. She will discuss the proposal for a Scottish BSL Act.