The British Sign Language Bill, put forward by West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper has passed the committee stage and will now receive its final House of Commons debate on the 18th of March, on the path to becoming Law.
The Bill, which recognises BSL as a language and requires the Government to produce guidance on promoting and protecting its use, received only one technical amendment to alter the long title of the Bill.
If it is supported by MPs on 18 March, the Bill will progress through the House of Lords and then receive royal assent.
Rosie Cooper MP said:
“This is another step closer to making a real difference in the lives of every Deaf person in the country. The support that this Bill has received is tremendous and with MPs of all parties backing this Bill, I am confident that that we can get it past the finish line.
“The final Commons debate lands on a very special day, as 18 March 2022 is exactly 19 years since BSL was recognised in a Ministerial Statement. My Bill will finally place the recognition of BSL firmly into the statute books!
“Undoubtedly, this will be a momentous day for the Deaf community and mark the beginning of what I hope will be the steady increase to the provision for BSL users. The changes won’t happen overnight, but there will be a consistent improvement, step by step enabling and encouraging equal access for Deaf people across all public services.”