Bill to give British Sign Language legal status clears Commons hurdle as MPs hail Strictly champion Rose Ayling-Ellis for raising awareness
A Private Member’s Bill that would give recognition to signing was given an unopposed second reading after emotional scenes in the chamber.
Although BSL was recognised as a language in its own right by the Government in 2003, it has no legal protection.
Labour MP Rosie Cooper, who put forward the Bill, said bolstering its status will send a clear message to every deaf person that ‘their language is equal and should be treated as equal’.
Plans to give British Sign Language legal status hailed their first major Commons hurdle today as MPs hailed Strictly Come Dancing champion Rose Ayling-Ellis (picture on the live tour this month) for raising awareness
Labour MP Rosie Cooper (사진), who put forward the Bill, said bolstering its status will send a clear message to every deaf person that ‘their language is equal and should be treated as equal’
In a passionate speech in the Commons, Ms Cooper recalled her own experiences of growing up as the hearing child of deaf parents.
The MP for West Lancashire said: '자라는 것, I saw first-hand the difficulties deaf people face every day. The huge challenges my parents had to overcome, to be heard, to be listened to.
'더 중요한 것은, to be understood. 지금, I’m told I booked my first family holiday when I was four years old. I don’t remember but I did.’
Explaining the objectives of her Bill, Ms Cooper said: ‘I want to finally recognise BSL in statute, not just a gesture, but a law which requires positive action from the Government, with real progress putting deaf people on an equal footing with those of us who hear.
‘For every deaf person like my parents, who’ve been ignored, misunderstood or even treated as unintelligent for simply relying on BSL, this recognition will be clear and will be a message that their language is equal and should be treated as equal.’
The MP thanked Strictly winner Ms Ayling-Ellis, 속담: '분명히, much of the awareness is due to Rose Ayling-Ellis in Strictly, she proved what my dad always says ‘deaf people can do anything, even the impossible’, such as winning Strictly when you can’t hear the music.
‘That 10-second glimpse she gave the hearing world into deafness when the music stopped was truly momentous.
‘People became aware and interested in BSL like never before. I know we have much support across the House, so let me say this Bill isn’t about politics. [object Window] 230 연령, this Bill is about doing the right thing.’
Using BSL at the same time, Ms Cooper said: '그래서, in closing, I’d like to say to the minister, thank you for supporting this Bill. 감사합니다.’
Conservative former cabinet minister Robert Buckland thanked Labour MP Ms Cooper ‘from the bottom of my heart’ for bringing the suggested change forward.
‘Let’s not forget the thousands of people with learning difficulties, who use BSL, including members of my family. On her behalf, may I thank her? Thank you from the bottom of my heart,’ 그는 말했다.
Confirming Government support, Work and Pensions minister Chloe Smith insisted the Bill will make a ‘tangible difference’ in deaf people’s every day life.
그녀가 말했다: ‘This is a national moment because we have seen in popular culture, throughout the autumn, the inspirational success of Rose Ayling-Ellis on Strictly Come Dancing.
‘From that we have seen the interest of BSL is on the rise. This Bill is an important next step, we want to seize that moment to help improve the lives of deaf people and those closest to them. It’s a crucial step and it is going to make a tangible difference in deaf people’s every day life, including by listening to deaf people about how that should be done.’
Confirming Government support, Work and Pensions minister Chloe Smith (pictured outside parliament with campaigners today) insisted the Bill will make a ‘tangible difference’ in deaf people’s every day life
Speaking before the Bill’s second reading, Ms Ayling-Ellis, 27, told The Big Issue: ‘If it becomes an official language, which we’ve been fighting for all these years, it will be so emotional for us.
‘Because of the massive interest in BSL recently, a lot of people don’t realise how much of a fight the deaf community have had.’
Susan Daniels, chief executive of the National Deaf Children’s Society, welcomed the Bill passing its second reading, noting ‘this is a historic day for British Sign Language users everywhere’.
그녀가 말했다: ‘With their language now well on the way to being recognised in law, they can feel jubilant, valued and optimistic about the future.’
David Buxton, chairman of the British Deaf Association, echoed Ms Daniels, saying this Bill has been ’19 years in the making’.
그는 덧붙였다: ‘I now call upon ministers and MPs to do everything they can to get the British Sign Language Bill to Royal Assent in this parliamentary session.’
The Bill will now undergo further parliamentary scrutiny at a later date.