The British government is backing a bill to finally make British Sign Language (BSL) a recognized language in the UK and help deaf people play a more prominent role in society.
The British Sign Language Bill, a Private Member’s Bill introduced by Rosie Cooper MP, signals promotion and facilitation of BSL when making public service announcements, encouraging other service providers to do the same.
The UK’s Department for Work and Pensions minister for Disabled People, Health and Work Chloe Smith said: “Effective communication is vital to creating a more inclusive and accessible society, and legally recognizing British Sign Language in Great Britain is a significant step towards ensuring that deaf people are not excluded from reaching their potential.”
“Passing the bill will see government commit to improving the lives of deaf people and will encourage organizations across the nation to take up the BSL mantle, benefitting both themselves and the deaf community,” continued Smith.
BSL offers a lifeline to 250,000 Brits who communicate through the visual medium, which consists of a combination of hand gestures, facial expressions and body language.