Doubtless by now, there are people saying: “why do we need a BSL Strategy and Alliance and what’s the point of having a symposium on BSL?”
The charity sector is likely to face a meltdown in the next three years. There is no doubt that the austerity measures will bite much harder in the coming months. Demand for services from organisations in the third sector will increase and correspondingly, income will decrease. When times are hard, organisations tend to go one of two ways. Either they start working together or they become more ruthless and compete with other organisations. And when that happens, very small groups with minority agendas disappear. And there is no doubt that BSL is a very minority agenda and certainly it feels that Deaf people are being even more marginalised in the so-called ‘Big Society’. The BDA believes we need to stand together if we are to secure the future of BSL in the UK.
The second question – The BDA has languished in the shadows for some considerable time and as it’s the only organisation that campaigns and advocates for Deaf people, it is time for the BDA to take the lead on BSL on behalf of its members and constituents. The Symposium is a way of heralding our new bridge-building approach; we want allies from the human rights field, from disabled organisations that campaign for rights, and from deaf organisations, clubs and groups that share our values.
Come and help us secure the future for BSL!
Click to view The BSL Symposium leaflet