David Buxton, Chair of the ‘BSL Act SIG’, one of UKCoD’s Special Interest Groups, would like to share with you information about this group and key points about the work they have been doing so far towards a new BSL Act.
Watch David’s signing this information in the video below or scroll down to read in English:
- BSL Act SIG is a voluntary group consisting of UKCoD members: British Deaf Association (BDA), DCAL, Deaf Ex-mainstreamers (DEX), Heriot Watt University and National Deaf Children’s Society (NDCS). David Buxton was appointed as Chair. David is currently CEO of Action on Disability (AoD) and also Hon. Treasurer of the BDA.
- The purpose of UKCoD’s BSL Act SIG is primarily concerned with getting a BSL Bill through Parliament with support from the All Party Parliamentary Group on Deafness (APPGD), which is currently chaired by the Rt. Hon Lilian Greenwood, MP.
- David presented a draft BSL Bill to the APPGD in August 2020. MPs and Peers were there to listen and ask questions regarding how we would plan a BSL Bill campaign. They agreed in principle to support a BSL Bill. David, with Craig Crowley, Chair of UKCoD, will be meeting the Rt. Hon Lilian Greenwood MP to discuss the next steps.
- Representatives of the BSL Act SIG met the Clerk of the Private Members Bill Unit at the House of Commons earlier this month to discuss the draft BSL Bill which will be slightly amended in order to meet the desired parliamentary language style and structure.
- Once a BSL Bill and BSL Act Campaign plan is approved by BSL Act SIG, then we will consult with the Deaf Community and BSL supporting organisations to gather their thoughts and views in order to build up a strong network in support of the BSL Act campaign work.
- The BSL Act SIG will launch a formal BSL Bill and mobilise local BSL supporting campaigners to meet their local MPs (only backbenchers not Ministers, etc.,), to persuade them to agree to support a BSL Bill if their names are drawn out of the Private Members Bill ballot around May 2021. We have to ensure that one of the first five MPs drawn out of the PMB ballot is willing to introduce a BSL Bill – preferably the first one drawn.
We know that the Private Member’s Bill success rate is very low but this is the best way forward as we can put extra pressure on the Conservative Government to listen and support a BSL Bill rather than voting down a BSL Bill.
If you are interested in getting involved in this important BSL Act campaign, please email your expression of interest to David Buxton: BSLActNow@gmail.com.
We are just collecting names now. The BSL Act SIG will shortly be setting up a BSL Act Campaign Sub-Group which will focus on lobbying MPs and we would like to reach out to those who are interested.
Additionally, the BSL Act e-newsletter will be sent out which further details how we will really make this work.