Michelle Roca, from the Caritas Westminster Deaf Service, highlighted again yesterday that Deaf people in England still do not have proper access to public service information in British Sign Language (BSL), the first language for an estimated 70,000 people in the UK.
Writer and presenter, Lynn Stewart-Taylor, is walking from Gloucester to London to raise awareness of this issue and to raise funds to challenge the government. Deaf people in England need access to information on equal terms with everybody else.
She will arrive at Downing Street today, Friday 16th October, with letters of support for this campaign.
Lilian Greenwood, Sir Mike Penning, Lord Shipley, Ian Mearns, Tommy Sheppard and Rosie Cooper are the current members of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Deafness. The Twitter campaign #whereistheinterpreter is asking for one of them to greet her with the news that an interpreter will be with the Prime Minister, other government ministers and public health officials for all future announcements during the pandemic and afterwards.
One current excuse given for not providing an interpreter is that the room is not suitable. Michelle says, “If the room isn’t suitable to socially distance from the interpreter, use a different room! This is not the broadcaster’s responsibility, it is the government’s responsibility. Scotland and Wales have both managed to provide interpreters, why on earth is it so difficult for England to do the same. Go Lynn!”
Follow Lynne Stewart-Taylor on Twitter: https://twitter.com/jerseysnail