British Sign Language Charter

Wednesday 2 March 2016, all day

Motion detail

“Deaf people face many barriers when trying to access information or services; either through lack of awareness or language barriers. As a consequence, the British Deaf Association has established the following principles to tackle these issues:

  • Ensure better access to information and services;
  • Promote learning and teaching of BSL;
  • Support Deaf children and families;
  • Ensuring staff can communicate effectively in BSL; and
  • Consult with local Deaf community regularly.


Harrow has recently become the second London Borough Council to sign up the BSL Charter with Harrow United Deaf Club. The London Assembly acknowledges that this is a good start but requires much greater take up of the BSL Charter across London by local authorities, stakeholder and voluntary groups.


The London Assembly support and promote the British Sign Language (BSL) Charter created by the British Deaf Association with the aim of improving life for Deaf people by removing direct and indirect discrimination. It also aims to empower Deaf people as well as increasing awareness of British Sign Language (BSL) and Deaf issues. 


The Assembly also notes the extensive work of Andrew Boff’s rapporteur report on access to health services for d/Deaf people, including the key recommendation to develop a universal standard for British Sign Language (BSL) interpreting, which should be provided in GP surgeries and hospitals.” 


The London Assembly calls on the Mayor to sign up to the Charter on behalf of the GLA, to improve access and rights for deaf BSL users across the functional bodies. The London Assembly further urges the Mayor of London to embody Charter of BSL in his Londonwide equalities strategies, including actively promoting it to Local Authorities across London.”