West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper has been awarded a Medal of Honour by the British Deaf Association (BDA) at their Annual Gala.
The BDA present this award to those who have given exceptional services to, and made a significant contribution towards, the development of the Deaf community, and was given to MP Rosie for her work on the British Sign Language Act 2022 which legally recognised BSL as a language.
The BSL Act was first presented to Parliament by Rosie in June 2021, and after receiving unanimous support from MPs and Lords, received royal assent to be made Law on 28 April 2022.
Speaking after the BDA event, Rosie Cooper MP said:
“I am unbelievably honoured to receive this award. When I presented the BSL Bill in Parliament, no one thought it would succeed, but we didn’t give up. Working together with the BDA and the 8 other Deaf organisations in the ‘BSL Act Now!’ group, we did everything we could to get the support of the Government, cross party MPs and the public.
“Against the odds and with the help of Chloe Smith MP, who was the Minister for Disabled People we achieved the safe the passage of the Bill into Law.
“Awareness of Deaf Culture and BSL has exploded in the past year, and I am grateful to have been able to play a part in that.
“I hope the lasting legacy of the BSL Bill is a mechanism that every Deaf person can use to call on the government to bring about the equality they deserve.”