There are approximately 70 million Deaf people in the world who use sign language – World Federation for the Deaf. A common misconception is all sign languages are the same worldwide. This is incorrect, each country has its own native Sign Language.
British Sign Language is used in the UK. BSL is a visual-gestural language, with its own vocabulary and grammar structure, completely different to English. Facial expressions, hand movements, body, arms and upper torso all move in specific sequences to form the language.
Deaf people have fought tirelessly for decades for equal rights. For too long Deaf people have not been given the opportunities and acknowledgement they so rightly deserve. The Deaf community identity themselves as a linguistic minority and cultural group, transpired through shared language, experiences and a sense of belonging.
British Sign Language was finally recognised by the British Government as an Official Language in 2003. This was a landmark victory for Deaf people, and a major step towards removing barriers and striving for total inclusion. Recognition has meant further equality for Deaf People.
The Equalities Act 2010, is a law that prohibits discrimination and helps achieve equal opportunities in society. Service providers have a duty under the act to make reasonable adjustments to ensure Deaf People can access their services, i.e. providing BSL Interpreters. It doesn’t matter how big the organisation is, or if the service is paid or free of charge.
Human Rights Act: Sets out fundamental rights to enable people to lead their lives free from fear of discrimination. Its aim is to ensure every member of society can live a dignified life in freedom and in a safe environment.
Society still has a long way to go to achieve total inclusion. Deaf people still face barriers and discrimination on a daily basis.
By making your event accessible, simply by providing Interpreters you can truly make a positive difference and contribute to making society equal for all.
Performance Interpreting promotes equality and strives for inclusion without barriers.