Letters: “Don’t lock the Deaf community out”

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The RNID is calling for British Sign Language (BSL) interpretation at the victory speech by the re-elected or newly elected Prime Minister Image: RNID
The RNID is calling for British Sign Language (BSL) interpretation at the victory speech by the re-elected or newly elected Prime Minister Image: RNID

Dear Editor, 

The morning after the general election, 5 July, will be a historic moment for the UK. Whether it is delivered by a re-elected or newly elected Prime Minister, their speech to the nation will be a moment of national significance. 

It’s a moment that should be accessible to every voter in the UK, including the 87,000 members of the Deaf community who use British Sign Language (BSL). 

The Deaf community has continually been excluded during these key broadcasts from No. 10 because of the lack of a BSL interpreter. RNID has long tried to work with the Government to ensure that access is provided for the Deaf community.

A public service announcement is just that, but by not including deaf people the Prime Minister is removing their right to have the information at the same time as everyone else. 

RNID has written to both Sir Kier Starmer and Rishi Sunak offering them the use of our interpreter for their victory speech on 5 July. Their speech to the nation will be the start of a new chapter in our country’s history and they cannot lock the Deaf community out. 

I encourage all your readers to join our call and sign our letter to make this election inclusive of everyone at rnid.org.uk 

Yours sincerely, 

Michael Quinlan 
Advocacy Manager at RNID 

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