“A petition for British Sign Language (BSL) to be recognised as the first language of many deaf children in Wales has been submitted.Deffo! Cymru, a forum for young deaf people in Wales, wants the Welsh Government to widen access to education and services in BSL.
The petition gathered 1,162 signatures and the National Assembly’s petitions committee has recommended changes.
The committee’s report will now be considered by the Welsh Government.
One of the report’s recommendations is the development of a national charter for the delivery of services, including education, to deaf children, young people and their families.”
BSL is currently recognised as a minority language by the Welsh Government.The report also suggests giving children at all levels of education a chance to learn BSL, and asks the Welsh Government to continue exploring the creation of a GCSE first-language sign language qualification.
David Rowlands AM, chair of the petitions committee, said: “We believe that it is vital for parents and siblings of deaf and hard of hearing children and young people to be offered an opportunity to learn how to communicate through the medium of BSL.
David Rowlands AM, chair of the petitions committee
“While recognising that it is up to local authorities and further education colleges to determine their own spending priorities, we are of the view that the Welsh Government could do more to guide local authorities to treat BSL as a language need, rather than a response to a medical need, which may help to reframe the conversation about adequate provision.”
I know that he’s a Ukip member but that’s no reason for any of us to oppose it
Recent reports have said that
In a previous report the Beeb reported that
Families with a deaf child are having to spend hundreds of pounds on British Sign Language lessons to be able to communicate with them.The Children’s Commissioner for Wales Sally Holland said many were not able to afford to pay for classes.Some families have also expressed concerns about the lack of provision for children in mainstream schools.The Welsh Government said it had supported training to increase the number of translators in Wales.According to the British Deaf Association, there are about 6,000 British Sign Language (BSL) users in Wales, of which about 4,000 are deaf.
I don’t know how the Deaf community feel about this but is it not about time we had a Universal Deaf Language.