What is BSL?

 

There are 250,000 people in the UK whose first or preferred language is BSL

There are 10 million people in the UK with some form of hearing loss. That is approximately one in six of the population. Furthermore, there are 250,000 people in the UK whose first or preferred language is BSL (British Sign Language).

In March 2003, BSL was officially recognised by the Government as a language in its own right.

Described as a real, full and living language that is part of our rich cultural heritage, BSL has its own vocabulary, structure and grammar, which differs markedly from English. It is a visual language that uses the hands, face, body and head to communicate and is the first and native language for many Deaf people.

BSL is separate and distinct from English. The grammatical structures of the two languages are very different. Therefore, communication produced in written or audible English is simply not accessible to Deaf people. Just as with any other linguistic minorities, Deaf people have difficultly accessing information in the minority language.

Make sure that your message reaches the Deaf community

The benefits of BSL Video

BSL is a visual-gestural language, using hands, body and face. It can be successfully recorded for distribution on film or video. Under the provisions of the Equality Act it is reasonable for a member of the Deaf community to expect provision of BSL video versions of existing public information.

Making a video in BSL ensures that Deaf people have access to your information and that you are complying with your obligations under legislation.

BSL users need the help of competent interpreters

All service providers and employers have a legal requirement to make reasonable adjustments to ensure that their services are accessible to everybody, including people whose first language is BSL.

Interpreters work in a variety of settings, such as job interviews, staff meetings, legal situations, education settings, medical appointments, council services, meetings and conferences.

We use the latest technology to enable you to access Deaf people and improve communication with Deaf customers and Deaf employees.