The British Deaf Association is delighted to share the news that the House of Commons is to provide British Sign Language (BSL) interpretation of Prime Minister’s Questions on a trial basis starting with Wednesday’s session.
A video stream of proceedings will be provided on parliamentlive.tv with live BSL interpretation for the duration of the weekly event.
This coverage will also be streamed on the UK Parliament’s YouTube channel as well as being made available to national and international broadcasters.
The pilot builds on previous work with BSL interpreters, including providing live BSL interpretation for Westminster Hall debates and a select committee evidence session in 2019.
The BSL interpreters for the trial scheme will operate out of an in-house studio on the Parliamentary estate.
Sir Lindsay Hoyle, Speaker of the House of Commons, who championed the use of BSL in Westminster Hall, said: “Everyone deserves to be able to follow our flagship event of the week – so I am delighted that we will have sign language interpreters to make this a reality for deaf people.”
“This initiative chimes with my commitment to make our parliamentary proceedings accessible and as clear as possible to everyone. I would like to thank all those who have worked behind the scenes, as well as the excellent team of BSL interpreters, to make this happen”.
Damian Barry, Executive Director of the BDA, said: “This is a significant breakthrough for equality and for access to information for Deaf people. The BDA welcome this pilot scheme which will enable BSL users to follow Prime Minister’s Questions in the language they use and understand”.
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