British Sign Language Charter

Brighton & Hove City Council signed up to the British Deaf Association (BDA) charter for British Sign Language in 2017.

The charter signs Brighton & Hove City Council up to three key pledges to improve access to council services and rights for Deaf people who use British Sign Language (BSL) in the city, which are:

  • Consult formally and informally with the local Deaf community on a regular basis
  • Promote learning and high quality teaching of BSL
  • Support Deaf children and families

The council is also committed to working towards two further pledges to:

  • Ensure access for Deaf people to information and services
  • Ensure staff working with Deaf people can communicate effectively using British Sign Language

The BDA Charter is designed as a vehicle to remove direct and indirect discrimination, empower local Deaf communities and resolve conflicts between service providers and Deaf people.

Its aim is to increase awareness of Deaf and BSL issues and provide better educational opportunities for Deaf children. Each pledge under the charter requires a commitment to recognise and value all its customers including those who use BSL, and overcome the disadvantages that Deaf people using BSL face.

Signing up to the charter was agreed at the Neighbourhoods, Communities & Equalities Committee in March 2017, following a review of council practice against BDA Charter looking at how well the council is doing against some of the pledges, and where improvements are required.

Service feedback event

We held an event in October 2017 with the Deaf community offering the opportunity to feed back views and experiences of using council services, particularly for Deaf young people and their parents. You can read the BSL Charter feedback report (PDF 483KB) or view the BSL video of the report below.