Crippen hears about tokenistic BSL bill

Crippen Cartoons

A leading Deaf campaigner has appealed to fellow users of British Sign Language (BSL) to reject a “tokenistic” new bill that claims to offer them new rights.

BSL Bill 2022

Jeff McWhinney, former chief executive of the Deaf-led organisation the British Deaf Association (BDA), has called on BSL-users to carefully examine the content of theBritish Sign Language bill. He states that the bill would not provide BSL with the legal status that Deaf people have been demanding since the 1980s and is “not good enough” and offers no important new rights to Deaf people.

The bill would recognise BSL as “a language of England, Wales and Scotland”, but the bill also states that this “does not affect the operation of any enactment or rule of law”. This appears to mean that the bill would provide a symbolic recognition of the language rather than offering any new rights for…

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