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) in conjunction with DCAL held a well attended an evening seminar titled ‘BSL Recognition: The Way Ahead. The seminar considered how recognition has really benefited Deaf people and what needs to happen next to ensure BSL is adequately recognised within political, legal and policy frameworks.

“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.”

David Buxton, Chief Executive BDA

Speakers included Robert Adam: a Deaf researcher from DCAL; David Buxton: Chief Executive of the British Deaf Association; Dr Paddy Ladd: Deaf researcher from the Centre for Deaf Studies, University of Bristol, who first proposed the Deafhood framework for analyzing Deaf culture; Terry Riley: Chair of the BDA, former editor of BBC “See Hear” and Board Member of the World Federation of the Deaf (WFD); and Maartje de Meulder: Deaf researcher from the Department of Languages, University of Jyväskylä, Finland, research sign language recognition legislation and also involved in the successful campaign for the recognition of Flemish Sign Language.