Labour MP Dawn Butler has been praised for using sign language to ask a question in the House of Commons about giving it legal status.
Ms Butler’s question will help to raise awareness about the lack of accessible information for Deaf people and encourage Parliament to consider the importance of a BSL Act.
The British Deaf Association said it was “delighted” Ms Butler had requested for Parliament to give the language legal status.
“We very much hope that the House will take note and consider Ms Butler’s early day motion as a priority to ensure that deaf people are part of the UK’s determination to be a leader in business and trade,” it said.
A House of Commons spokesman said “as far as records indicate” it is the first time sign language has been used to ask a question in the Chamber.
Craig Crowley MBE, chief executive of Action Deafness, was appointed chair of the UK Council on Deafness at its AGM on 2 November. Craig succeeds Jim Edwards, who took up the position in 2010.
The AGM was part of the Council’s annual conference, which this year celebrated the power of collaboration. Groups of presenters explained how their cooperation had brought about benefits for people who are deaf or have a hearing loss.
Jim Edwards said: “I am delighted to announce Craig is the new chair of the Council. His appointment comes at an exciting time, with the sector working more collaboratively than ever before. His involvement with the initiative to define a common purpose means he is well placed to take up the reins.”
Craig said: “Jim’s six year stewardship of the Council is much appreciated. In particular, he made sure we kept challenging ourselves. The Board and I look forward to continuing what he worked so hard to begin.”
Today, Santander Consumer Finance (SCF), in partnership with SignVideo, has launched a Video Relay Service (VRS), for the British Sign Language (BSL) community.
The service is available for all account servicing, supporting customers with many of their day to day account queries and transactions. The service enables deaf BSL-using customers to place video calls to SCF via a free and secure video link on its website. The video call instantly connects to a BSL interpreter at SignVideo, who then phones the SCF contact centre relaying the conversation in real time.