Posted by: learnsignlanguage | April 19, 2010

Is British Sign Language a Real Language?

  Government Recognition of British Sign Language

On Tuesday 18 March, 2003, the UK Government formally recognised British Sign Language (BSL) as a language in its own right. This was a landmark in history for the Deaf community all over the UK.

According to statistics from the British Deaf Association, (www.bda.org.uk) BSL is the first or preferred language for 70,000 Deaf people in the UK. 

Sign language is a complete language. It is capable of expressing every emotion and discussing any topic. It can be abstract or concrete. It is as much of a language as English, Welsh or Cornish. It needs to be understood that greater recognition under the European charter and acceptance of Irish sign language could offer opportunities for the increasing involvement of deaf people and easier access to information, knowledge and legal security.

The provision of proficient BSL interpreters in employment, further education establishments and in law would offer a greater range of choice to BSL users.

The steps taken to recognise BSL and the Government’s declaration are important, but they are only a step on the road and not the end of the road. It is needed to be taken a step further to enhance the opportunities and the benefit the society as a whole.

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