A Tipping Point for BSL?
Is it just me, or does BSL in particular and sign language in general, seem to be appearing much more in the media recently?
You must have noticed the coverage in the national press trumpeting the fact (via NDCS) that more people want to learn sign language than French or German. And that’s such good timing as a brand new qualification (via Signature) is being introduced with six schools across England piloting a new GCSE in BSL.
But it’s not just that. Harrow has followed Nottinghamshire in signing up to the BDA’s BSL Charter, and Northamptonshire’s police force is getting online access to interpreters via a video link, and being trained in sign language too.
All sorts of snippets have been doing the rounds; A South African province wanting to put sign language interpreters in every hospital, families unable to get interpreter support in UK health and education, and the stories about a young Indian woman called Geeta – worth looking up.
This media coverage is great and I’m sure it will raise awareness of sign languages, highlight the work of pioneers, and increase realisation of what good provision might look like. Wouldn’t it be even better if this were the point when we all came to expect decent and equal services for sign language users, rather than settling for ‘merely’ whatever budgets will allow?
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