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Sign Language: Television

Question for Department for Work and Pensions

UIN 29899, tabled on 16 March 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment the Government has made of the merits of providing a British Sign Language interpreter to accompany televised announcements to ensure the deaf community has access to information.

Answered on

24 March 2020

The Government is committed to ensuring deaf people can fully participate and play a full role in society. We support initiatives aimed at improving understanding of the needs of deaf people and how the barriers they face can be removed, as well as giving deaf people more say in how they access services.

We worked with the BBC to introduce a British Sign Language (BSL) interpreter on Monday 16 March to accompany the Prime Minister’s daily coronavirus press conference. The BSL interpreter is available on the BBC News Channel and BBC iPlayer. We intend to continue to work with the BBC to ensure there is a BSL interpreter in our daily updates on coronavirus and are prioritising the exploration of additional methods to ensure that all disabled people have access to pertinent communication in accessible formats.