With BDA looking to gain an even keel, under the public glare, I noticed that they are still maintaining the same theme, carrying on from the last precedessor. It is in this pdf (page 6) where there is a “Welcome” column from the incoming Chairman, Francis Murphy.
The aim of this blog is to elicit further clarifications and draw out some deeper background knowledge from people who were involved with BSL Recognition campaign leading up to 2003 and for those who still are involved nowadays. But I will write about what I have discovered so far – I am not a trained researcher but I’d like to think “finding out information” is one of my strengths. Pardon me, in advance, if I get things wrong.
Soon after BSL was “recognised” by Department of Work and Pension (not the government itself I might add), it seemed that the push for BSL recognition continued on many fronts, including the EC Parliamentary Assembly which was a month after the DWP’s annoucement. I wonder if this is a deliberate act of sabotage by the Government to take the winds out of the sail of that assembly by being seen “doing something”.
Malcolm Bruce is certainly not giving up as he made a speech back in March – although he is weary that he is having to “reassert” the same issues he made 30 years ago but, boy, I do admire his resilience. I do not know how much support does he gets for his endeavours. Is he our best chance to gain a voice in the House of Commons? Where have all our movers and shakers have gone?
Moving onto another subject, it is my opinion that the battle-cry of “BSL Recognition now” does not invoke the same emotiveness if someone wear to holler “Welsh Language now” – simply because the wordings are vague in the former whereas, with the latter, the message is clear cut. If someone is confronted with BSL, someone can get the “WTF” moment as it can mean all sort of things – unless you are working in Deaf community/organisation/diversity circles. By adding ‘BSL’ in a seach engine, it will spews various results such as Birmingham Swim League to Breed-specific legislation (regarding pit bull dogs). Everybody hates abbreviations.
I feel the slogan containing “Sign Language now” is more effective in carrying the message, through the absolute message it is carrying and its clarity. Another wording which can also be bandied around “Legalise Sign Language”. It is my feeling this will increase the awareness of the campaign and capture the imagination more. People – from ordinary bystander to a celebrity – will be more curious and say “What do you mean by that?”…….this is where we come in: produce a leaflet / attempt to communicate / find the nearest terp. The importance should be on the message – making it accessible to a wide-ranging and emotive. “BSL Recognition” is not sexy enough.
Unfortunately, I will not be at the Southport Congress due to my parent’s 40 years wedding anniversary party. I would appreciate any lowdowns on it – even perhaps someone could write a blog about the Congress?!? Any takers?!?