British Deaf Association: our Manifesto

Autor/a: British Deaf Association BDA
Año: 2024
Editorial: BDA
Tipo de código: Copyright
Soporte: Digital




We want the next Government to transform the way British Sign Language (BSL) is accessed in the UK by deaf children, their families and deaf adults. Deaf children in the United Kingdom have a human right to linguistic and cultural enrichment through the acquisition of BSL (and Irish Sign Language in Northern Ireland). BSL is a rich and dynamic language that is an integral part of our cultural identity.

Sign languages are full languages with their own communities, histories and cultures. The World Federation of the Deaf – with a membership of 136 national Deaf associations - emphasises the importance of fostering a positive linguistic and cultural environment so deaf children can grow up with a profound sense of identity and pride in their Deaf heritages. Language acquisition in the first years of life is essential. The evidence shows that children with inadequate access to any form of language experience language deprivation. This has serious life-long consequences for deaf children’s language, emotional and cognitive development and their wellbeing.

Currently there is no national programme of early years BSL provision for deaf children in the UK. Experts agree the way forward is clear.