8 June 2017

Signing the BSL Charter to improve services for Deaf people

The Mayor of Brighton & Hove Councillor Mo Marsh and Leader of the Council Councillor Warren Morgan will be signing the British Deaf Association charter for British Sign Language, alongside Ayeshaa Denny, a student at Hamilton Lodge School & College for Deaf Children at a ceremony on Saturday 10 June.

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 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.

The signing ceremony will take place at 12.30pm at the Hamilton Lodge School & College fete, Walpole Road, Brighton BN2 0LS. The fete runs from 11am until 4pm. 

Signing up to the charter was agreed at the Neighbourhoods, Communities & Equalities Committee in March, 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.

The decision follows a Fairness Commission recommendation supported by all parties of the council.