The British Deaf Association (BDA) announces its Strategic Vision for the future of deaf communities in the United Kingdom that will launch in the spring of 2023. The document lays out a comprehensive plan for the next decade, with a focus on empowering deaf people and their inclusion in all aspects of society.
The BDA is the U.K.’s national deaf-led membership charity and advocacy group for deaf people who use British Sign Language (BSL) in the U.K. and Irish Sign Language (ISL) in Northern Ireland.
The organization’s Strategic Vision follows on the tails of the passage of the BSL Act in 2022 and builds upon the BSL Scotland Act of 2015, legally recognizing BSL as a national language.
“Building on the groundbreaking BSL Scotland Act, our language now has official status across the whole of Great Britain with the BSL Act 2022. Legislation is finally in place that recognizes BSL and commits the government to actively promote and facilitate its use,” wrote Rebecca Mansell, Chief Executive of the British Deaf Association.
The BDA’s Strategic Vision outlines a number of key objectives, including: promoting BSL and other forms of communication that are accessible to deaf people, and working to ensure that all deaf people have equal access to communication services; strengthening the deaf community, by fostering a sense of identity, pride and solidarity among deaf people, and promoting deaf culture and heritage.
“The British Sign Language Act was never about instantly fixing all the problems that deaf people face, but it was about fully realizing the potential of deaf people,” writes Rosie Cooper, a former member of the U.K. Parliament. “The Act of a long term investment giving deaf people an opportunity to plan for their own future, live full lives, meet their life challenges head on, and bring about the changes that have been needed for such a long time.”
Source: The British Deaf Association
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