BSL was finally recognised as an official minority language of the UK by the UK Government’s Secretary of the State for the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) on 18th March 2003 with the promise to look into a legal status for BSL. Deaf people today know that BSL does not yet have the same legal protections that Welsh, Gaelic and Cornish have. BSL is Britain’s fourth indigenous language!
Additionally, BSL and ISL were officially recognised as minority languages in Northern Ireland in March 2004 by the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Paul Murphy MP.
To date, BSL is still not protected by law. To support our campaign for adequate legal protection, please: join the BDA for free membership and/or; donate now to support the BDA’s campaign for a legal status of BSL.
Scotland – Scottish Parliament passed BSL (Scotland) Bill in September 2015 and got a Royal Assent – BSL (Scotland) Act 2015. Click for more information
Northern Ireland – Northern Ireland Assembly