Message from the BDA Chair
Text transcript for BSL video:
Hi, this is Terry Riley, the BDA Chair. I’d like to update you with what’s been happening lately.
Last week, I was in Stormont, at the Northern Irish Assembly. I met with representatives who were MLAs (Members of the Legislative Assembly) of four of the smaller parties of the Assembly – this was after having met representatives from the four major parties. The BDA met with each of these parties in order to raise their awareness of the Deaf community, and of the day-to-day barriers that sign language users face.
Today, I was in Westminster for a meeting with Kate Green, who is a Labour MP for Stretford and Urmston. She has been a strong supporter of the BDA for many years. We discussed the forthcoming debate on deafness at Westminster on 30th November, brought about by the APPG on Deafness. An APPG is an All-Party Parliamentary Group, and the APPG on Deafness has a number of MP members who work on a cross-party basis.
Their remit covers a BSL act, Access to Work, DLA [Disability Living Allowance/Personal Independence Payments], and other issues related to Deafness. I spoke to her today about the importance of a BSL Act and of having legal status for BSL. I also told her that the Equalities Act is not fit for purpose, and we discussed the UN Convention [on the Rights of People with Disabilities].
Overall the discussion was a constructive one. Kate said that she’d be interested in submitting a question in Parliament on the rights of the Deaf child in education, and to support her in that, I will be sending her the WFD Position Statement on the Rights of the Deaf Child in Education.
Following on from the success of the BSL (Scotland) Act, I will also be sharing with her information about the terrific Five Year Plan that was released by the Scottish Government in the past fortnight. In addition to this I will share some information about the discussions regarding the Framework in Northern Ireland – which have been put on hold for the moment, as the Northern Ireland Assembly is yet to reconvene.
Kate is keen to support the BDA, which is an important first step. I hope to be able to share more news with you in the coming weeks. Thank you for watching.