The British Sign Language (BSL) Act (2022) requires the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions to publish a report on what ministerial departments have done to promote or facilitate the use of BSL in their communications with the general public.
This report is compiled on his behalf by the Disability Unit, part of Cabinet Office. It covers the period 28 June 2022 to 30 April 2023.
The report includes an introduction and explanation of the structure of the language, case studies of good practice, and information on what the government will do to increase the use of BSL in its communications. It also includes details about the number of BSL translations made by relevant ministerial departments during the reporting period, including:
- public announcements about policy or about changes to the law in BSL
- publications – plans, strategies, consultation documents or consultation responses in BSL
- press conferences, social media or government website use to publicise activities or policies in BSL
The act legally recognises BSL as a language of England, Scotland and Wales but not Northern Ireland, where equality law is devolved.
The Scottish and Welsh governments are not subject to the reporting duty. The report does not include communications about matters that only relate to Scotland or Wales and do not relate to matters that are reserved to the UK Parliament.