At long last, our language has now been recognised by the UK Government. We must seize this opportunity to prepare the ground for the world we want, promote the nationwide learning of BSL and protect our language to ensure it flourishes long into the future.
This Strategic Vision sets out the British Deaf Association’s 10-year vision for a new civil rights movement: #BSL2032.
Over the next decade, the Deaf communities in the UK must take ownership of our own future as a linguistic and cultural minority that has been oppressed and discriminated against for more than a century
Our vision is for a good quality of life for every Deaf baby, child and adult in the UK, where the language, communication and information barriers that have limited us for so long have been surmounted, as our language, British Sign Language (BSL), is at last given the space to flourish. Language is at the heart of what it means to be human. To be able to express ourselves, share information, and build relationships, every human needs a strong language foundation. Deaf people continue to be deprived of that basic human right in 2023. It is time for this to change.
What could a good quality of life look like, if every Deaf person were free to reach their potential on an equal basis with their hearing fellow citizens? How can we prepare the Deaf communities in Britain to build a social justice movement to make that dream a reality? The 10-year Strategic Vision takes as its starting point the date at which the BSL Act, which recognised British Sign Language as a language of Great Britain in law for the very first time, received Royal Assent: 28 April 2022. That date will now be celebrated annually as National BSL Day.
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