Countdown begins for Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper's bid to get British Sign Language officially recognised

West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper's campaign to get British Sign Language (BSL) officially recognised is due to be debated in Parliament this week.

By Fiona Finch
Tuesday, 25th January 2022, 3:23 pm

Her BSL Bill, which aims to get BSL legally recognised as a language would place a responsibility on the Government to issue guidance and publish reports on the use of BSL.

The Bill's first Parliamentary debate is due on Friday, January 28.

Earlier this month the MP, who grew up with profoundly deaf parents and used BSL as her first language, hosted a virtual drop-in session to promote the British Sign Language Bill. It was co-hosted by David Buxton, Chair of the British Deaf Association.

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Rosie Cooper MP - campaigning for recognition for BSL

The cross-party event enabled MPs to speak to users of BSL as their first language about the current issues facing deaf people and the Bill's aims. Those attending included Chloe Smith, Minister for Disabled People.

Fore more on Rosie's Bill see hereOutside of Parliament,the Bill has gained the support of Strictly Come Dancing winner Rose Ayling-Ellis. The actress has encouraged the public to contact their own MPs, asking them to back the Bill.

Rosie Cooper said she was delighted at the positive response to her Bill at the January 19 drop-in and thanked volunteers from the deaf community who attended. She added: “I am really hopeful we can get this Bill past the finish line and truly make a difference to people’s lives.”

Earlier in her campaign she explained the difference her Bill could make to deaf people's lives and their access to information, saying: "My Bill aims to help put deaf BSL users on a more equal playing field with everyone else, to require the Government to work with deaf people to develop guidance on how public bodies should enable the use of BSL across their services."

MP Rosie Cooper's campaign poster

For more on Rosie's work as a county MP see here and here

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