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Showing posts from February, 2023

The BDA's BSL Audit: what should do the Welsh Government do next?

The British Deaf Association (BDA)  published its audit of the Welsh Government's policies and approaches against the five commitments of their BSL Charter  on 14 February 2023. The BDA recommends the following: A BSL Act in Wales giving sign language communities and Deaf people full citizenship in cultural, social and political contexts; Restructure Deaf education with a national BSL plan; Ensure hearing people and families of Deaf children can learn BSL; Put BSL/English interpreting on a statutory footing; To establish a BSL working group;  Collect statistics relating to the socio-economic situation of BSL users; and Create a Facebook group to gather evidence from the Deaf community. The ball is now in the Welsh Government's court. Progress has already been made with the appointment of a Disability and BSL Policy Manager in Government, who is tasked with implementing the BDA's recommendations. In terms of next steps, while the Government has made clear that the Disability

Deaf education

For a number of years, I have been working on a deaf education project with Rachel O'Neill at the University of Edinburgh . The project is predominantly focused on early years, primary and secondary education. It also considers language, particularly in the context of bilingualism, drawing direct comparisons between Welsh and Gaelic with that of British Sign Language (BSL). Our first report, The impact of the British Sign Language (Scotland) Act 2015 on deaf education  contributed to the Scottish Government's review of the first national BSL plan. The follow-up report: Deaf Education in Scotland and Wales: Attitudes to British Sign Language in deaf education compared to Gaelic and Welsh , compares the impact of BSL legislation and curriculum change on deaf children's education in Scotland and Wales, and explores the different approaches to minority language revitalisation in education systems.  It is clear that the provision of deaf education in the United Kingdom is not co

Deaf legal theory

The DLT Method Deaf legal theory is a somewhat new concept in legal jurisprudence. It was coined by Bryan and Emery in a chapter in Deaf Gain: Raising the Stakes for Human Diversity , published in 2014. I first came across this theory when working on my PhD thesis , and although it only had a minor mention in the end, I had the pleasure of teaching legal jurisprudence at the University of South Wales in 2014 and 2016, and was resolved to delve into deaf legal theory in more detail at some point in the future. Fast forward to 2022, after moving to Cardiff University, the time was ripe to start delving. I created a Developing Deaf Legal Theory blog and started writing blog posts, and lo and behold within two months was invited to give a talk at the University of Birmingham’s Language and Law seminar series about deaf legal theory. I have subsequently been asked to write three entries on deaf legal theory plus case studies for a forthcoming Encyclopaedia of Language and Law. The dea


Welcome to my new blog.   It has been some time since I blogged, but as an academic it is obviously important that I write as much as possible.  While the focus will be on academic pieces of work such as journal articles, book chapters, a monograph or manuscripts, the general consensus within the academic community is that any writing is good, and this blog is a way for me to: keep writing/putting my thoughts into something more concrete, to disseminate ideas in the hope that I will receive feedback via the comments, and in the process updating visitors to my website on my current research projects and initiatives. Check back regularly for updates, and if you would like to make any suggestions or work with me, please get in touch on email , via Twitter ( @rwilks ), or LinkedIN .