We’ve been working to support the Deaf Community in obtaining information about Covid since the beginning of lockdown when no BSL English Interpreters were provided for the Daily National Addresses.
260 County Court cases have been issued for compensation, and a Judicial Review was threatened but suspended on the basis that the daily briefings had been too. However, the Government has started to broadcast public health briefings without any BSL English Interpreters at all……. not even in-screen on the BBC News Channel.
This causes profound concerns for people like Katie (photographed below) who is 24 weeks pregnant, and lives alone in a Tier 3 area who cannot reliably understand what the risks to her are of going out, attending appointments or interviews, or even health checks. We have followed the pre-action protocols for Judicial Review but the Government refuses to provide an Interpreter, leaving us with no option but to issue Court proceedings.
Our team, led by Chris Fry and Catherine Casserley at Cloisters Chambers intends to issue an application for Judicial Review at the Administrative Court in Leeds next week, challenging the failure to comply with the PSED and /or failure to make reasonable adjustments in the exercise of a public function/provision of a service. The purpose of the proceedings would be to obtain a declaration that the Government’s actions are unlawful and will include an Order compelling the Government to make its communications accessible by the provision of BSL English Interpreters at all live national Government addresses.