A new bill introduced by a member of British Parliament, Rosie Cooper, could help make British Sign Language (BSL) a recognized language, according to an article in The Guardian.

In addition to improving accessibility for deaf individuals, the bill proposes to utilize BSL when making public service announcements and the creation of an advisory board comprised of BSL users to study its use and need for interpreters.

Cooper, whose parents were both born deaf, was quoted in the article as saying, “The deaf community have constantly had to fight to be heard. This bill sends a clear message that they deserve equal access and will be treated as equal.”

According to the British Deaf Association (BDA), who was quoted in the article, the bill could help give, “equal access to education, employment, public services such as the NHS,” if taken up by governmental departments and public bodies.

Though BSL is currently considered an “official language” by the UK government, it doesn’t have the same legal protections as languages like Welsh and Gaelic, according to The Guardian.

If the bill passes its reading on January 28, it will move to the next stage, with the final reading to take place in March.

To read the article in its entirety, please click here.

Source: The Guardian