It seems that at the root of everything is the absence of an Act of Parliament which enforces the right of Deaf people to use BSL. If a BSL Act was enacted, this would be the sure fire way of:
- Ensuring that service providers provide access to BSL users;
- Bringing BSL back into education as the predominant way to educate Deaf kids;
- Re-training audiologists to stop negative attitudes and forcing parents to conform to oralist methods;
- Improving Deaf and BSL awareness among the general populace; and
- Increasing the number of BSL users in the UK.
So, what do we need to do to get a BSL Act enacted?
- Draft a BSL Bill, enter into a consultative process;
- Decide whether to introduce it to Parliament via:
- A Private Members’ Bill by way of a Member of Parliament championing our cause; or
- A Public Bill (go here for more information on Public Bills).
- First reading (formal introduction of the Bill without debate);
- Second reading (general debate);
- Committee stage (detailed examination, debate and amendments. In the House of Commons this stage takes place in a Public Bill Committee;
- Report stage (opportunity for further amendments); and
- Third reading (final chance for debate and amendments are possible in the Lords).
- Royal Assent (granted by the monarch); and
- Act of Parliament (the proposals of the Bill have now become law).
Any volunteers to kick off the process and draft a BSL Bill?