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Message from Dawn Butler MP – Petition for BSL interpreters at all major annoucements

Posted by | April 21, 2020 | News | No Comments

Harrow United Deaf Club have received this information from Dawn Butler’s office, advising that they wanted to keep you updated on what Dawn has been doing on behalf of the deaf community.

Dawn tabled a series of questions to pressure the Government to ensure there are British Sign Language interpreters at all major announcements.

“To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment the Government has made of the potential merits of all Government announcements of public importance being accompanied by a BSL interpreter.”
https://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2020-03-11/27968/

This was answered by Justin Tomlinson MP, Minister of State for the Department of Work and Pensions. Who stated:
“The Government is committed to ensuring deaf people can fully participate and play a full role in society. We support initiatives aimed at improving understanding of the needs of deaf people and how the barriers they face can be removed, as well as giving deaf people more say in how they access services.
We are currently in discussions on the best way to ensure that any pertinent announcements are delivered in BSL to ensure that deaf people receive information at the same time as others.”

This didn’t really provide any clarity for Deaf constituents, but Dawn had tabled another question which was as follows:
https://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2020-03-16/29899/

“To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment the Government has made of the merits of providing a British Sign Language interpreter to accompany televised announcements to ensure the deaf community has access to information.”

This was answered by Justin Tomlinson MP again who answered:

“The Government is committed to ensuring deaf people can fully participate and play a full role in society. We support initiatives aimed at improving understanding of the needs of deaf people and how the barriers they face can be removed, as well as giving deaf people more say in how they access services.

We worked with the BBC to introduce a British Sign Language (BSL) interpreter on Monday 16 March to accompany the Prime Minister’s daily coronavirus press conference. The BSL interpreter is available on the BBC News Channel and BBC iPlayer. We intend to continue to work with the BBC to ensure there is a BSL interpreter in our daily updates on coronavirus and are prioritising the exploration of additional methods to ensure that all disabled people have access to pertinent communication in accessible formats.”

I hope this will help you, now that there will be a BSL interpreter on BBC News and Player

Dawn Butler MP