Bus users in London will be able to view a new 30-second film about sign language produced by Deaf people in support of British Sign Language Recognition Day.
The film will air on over 350 buses across London between on March 18 – 19.
Mayor Ken Livingstone said he hoped “commuters find the film clip informative. Londoners communicate in over 300 languages and over 200,000 Deaf and hearing people regularly use British and Irish Sign Language (BSL/ISL).”
In 2001 the Greater London Authority officially recognised British Sign Language as a language in its own right in March 2001. However BSL does not have any legal status meaning Deaf people do not have full access to information and services that hearing people take for granted, including in education, health and employment.
The Mayor said “BSL is a real, full and living language that is part of a rich cultural heritage and has evolved in the UK’s Deaf community over hundreds of years. It is a natural language that is as accessible to Deaf people as spoken English is to hearing people.”
“Many people may be unaware that there are many different sign languages from around the world, and as with English, BSL has its own London regional dialect.”
There will be a day of British Sign Language film, poetry and performance at City Hall on Monday March 19th involving Deaf people and pupils from BSL or bilingual schools.