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Government reluctant to legally recognise BSL, says disability minister

10 July 2015

The BDA's David Buxton, in his capacity as Chair of UK Council on Deafness’ Access to Work group, met with the new Minister for Disabled People, Justin Tomlinson MP, in July to discuss, among other things, the Government's plans for the future of Access to Work.

The minister promised to closely monitor the effect of the £40,800-a-year cap on Access to Work awards that will be introduced in October. He said he would be willing to listen to any new evidence that proved a negative impact on Deaf individuals' employment. The BDA will conduct a survey on the effect of the policy on Deaf Access to Work users.

The minister also talked about Video Relay Services (VRS). He promised to talk with the Cabinet Office about a single VRS service for central government.

Also on the agenda was legal status for BSL. The minister said the government has no appetite to legally recognise BSL as a minority language. The UK Council on Deafness will be asking him if he will attend an event to talk about it with Deaf people.