What plans does the Minister have to introduce a bill to: recognise British Sign Language as a language of Wales; require the Welsh Government to report on the promotion and facilitation of the use of British Sign Language by Welsh Government departments; and, require guidance to be issued in relation to British Sign Language?
Welsh Government already recognises British Sign Language (BSL) as a language of Wales as of 2004. The BSL Bill contains provisions to recognise BSL as a language in England, Wales and Scotland.
The BSL Bill, a Private Members bill was introduced by Rosie Copper MP in June last year. This has now this has been adopted by the UK Government with the Bill passing its second reading through the House of Commons.
A consent motion for this legislation is being laid on 8 March 2022.
The British Deaf Association (BDA) were commissioned to undertake an audit of Welsh Government’s BSL policies and service provision with a view to signing up to their BSL Charter. The audit resulted in a Report providing high level recommendations. The BDA and officials are discussing the findings and will finalise the Report. Consideration of the need for specific Welsh legislation will form part of these discussions.