I start this update by saying that I have enormous respect for the way in which Government is responding to the Coronavirus pandemic. Clear communication has been at the heart of the response, and I’m sure it is saving lives. But, we have to recognise that not everyone can access information in the same way.
Over 10 days ago now, a collection of leading Deaf people and organisations highlighted the urgent requirement for the Prime Minister’s National Addresses to involve BSL English Interpreting to ensure that Deaf People have access to information, instructions and guidance at the same time as hearing people. We sent a letter to the Prime Minister signed by a number of organisations, but unfortunately there has been nothing more than an acknowledgment to the letter.
Today, we have sent a formal letter announcing an intention to commence legal proceedings, using the Equality Act to obtain assistance from the Court as necessary to require that a BSL English Interpreter should be present, in real time, at these important occasions.
We hope that won’t be required.