As preparations for Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral begin, people in the deaf community are calling for a BSL interpreter to be available.
What is the BSL interpreter petition?
An online petition is being circulated, amassing almost 5,000 signatures.
Sam Egerton-Kemp started the petition in the hope that deaf people will be included in the global event.
The petition reads:
‘The Deaf and Hard of Hearing (HOH) community, who use sign language, need access in order to pay their respects to her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II at her funeral on the 19th of September 2022. The D/deaf and HOH community are asking the BBC to provide a fully qualified sign language interpreter for the Queen’s funeral on ALL BBC channels broadcasting the day.’
Deaf people are often excluded from large scale events such as Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral, as there is no close captioning or sign language interpreters.
The petition is aiming for 5,000 signatures, but is anticipated to go well past that, if its momentum carries on as it has. The more signatures it amasses, the more likely it is to be seen by local news and/or government.
To sign the petition, click here.
Tayside Deaf Hub is ‘a community center in the heart of Dundee, providing advice & social activities for D/deaf, hard of hearing people with sensory loss.’
They run services, actives and learning that ‘truly reflect the needs of deaf and sensory impaired people in the area, empowering them to become equal and active members of the communities they live in.’
Is BSL taught in schools?
People have been calling for sign language to be taught in schools for years.
In 2017, there was a petition to make BSL part of the National Curriculm. By the time the petition closed, there were 35,203 signatures.
Despite this, the government ruling was:
‘BSL was recognised as a language in its own right by the UK government in 2003. Whilst it is not a mandatory part of the curriculum, schools are free to teach it if they choose to do so.’
BSL teachings would allow for more awareness of the disability and allow deaf people of all ages to communicate with hearing people much easier.