Political opinion: Mims Davies MP marks first anniversary of BSL Advisory Board

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This item has been submitted by the office of Mims Davies MP. Mims Davies MP & Minister for Disabled People, Health and Work is pleased to mark the first anniversary of BSL Advisory Board.

Yesterday marked one year since the British Sign Language (BSL) Advisory Board first met to advise the Government on key issues impacting BSL users in the Deaf community.

In its first year, the BSL Advisory Board has already supported the development of the new BSL GCSE which will break down barriers in education and is advising on priority areas for Deaf people including health and social care, education, and government communication.

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The Board has also assisted Government efforts to improve accessibility and inclusivity within the sport sector by sharing insights on barriers for Deaf athletes, from grassroots to professional level.

Mims Davies, MP for Mid SussexMims Davies, MP for Mid Sussex
Mims Davies, MP for Mid Sussex

The Board provides ongoing advice to Government on best practices for accessible communications, curriculum development, and ensuring access to BSL interpreters across various settings.

The co-Chairs of the Board, Craig Crowley MBE FRSA and Alexandra Gowlland, recently attended the British Deaf Association’s conference to present on the work of the Board and its ambitions for improving access to BSL for families.

Minister for Disabled People, Health and Work, Mims Davies MP, said: “I want to thank each member of the BSL Advisory Board for their unwavering dedication to shaping Government policies that enable Deaf BSL users to live their lives to the fullest.

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“Throughout their first year, the Board has not only shared invaluable insight and expertise, but has helped to build a stronger picture of the barriers for Deaf people and how we best tackle them, amongst areas such as education, sport, and health and social care.

“I look forward to witnessing the Board continue driving tangible improvements for Deaf people across the UK in the years ahead.”

BSL Board co-Chair, Craig Crowley MBE FRSA, said: “It has been an honour to co-chair the BSL Advisory Board this past year. We have worked well with each other, various Government departments and the Deaf community to tackle issues and drive positive change.

“Our discussions and efforts have underscored the importance of incorporating lived experiences into policymaking. I look forward to continuing to help the Government listen to the needs of Deaf people in the coming year.”

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