Wera Hobhouse, MP for Bath, has called on Government to bring forward legislation to make British Sign Language a legally recognised language – 18 years after the Government declared it as one.
Wera Hobhouse stated that deaf people, across the UK, are still facing “social exclusion” and that “there is no more timely example of this than the fact that we are still waiting for a British Sign Language interpreter in Government press briefings, over a year into this pandemic.”
In response, Leader of the House, Jacob Rees-Mogg, said “great steps are being made. In terms of the legislative agenda, we will have a Queen’s Speech quite soon and that will contain the agenda for the coming session.”
Following the exchange, Wera Hobhouse said:
“I am disappointed to hear the Leader of the House fail to recognise the pain that deaf people have experienced, whilst being excluded throughout this incredibly challenging year.
Government formally recognised British Sign Language 18 years ago, but successive administrations have failed to secure that status in law. Although this may not impact the Leader of the House, it has a very real impact on the 87,000 people in the UK who are deaf and use British Sign Language to communicate.
Government must bring forward legislation urgently.”
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