Today members of our Student Council visited Devon County Council Chambers to present their campaign for BSL interpretation on BBC Spotlight and ITV News West Country, in order to make important TV news broadcasts accessible to all deaf people.

The students explained why delayed and often misspelled subtitles are not always helpful, especially when English is not the first language for many deaf people.

After establishing the importance of being able to access the TV news intheir first language, they challenged each council member to go home and switch off the sound on their news programs to see how well they followed the stories.

Everyone was extremely impressed by how articulately each student expressed themselves, and they received a round of applause at the end of their presentation. Congratulations to Alex, MK, Nissi, Matthew and Tom for their mature and considered speech, and a big thank you to Councillor Alistair Dewhirst for supporting our students’ campaign.

Alex Loveridge, Student Council Chair said,

“When I arrived at the Council offices, I felt a bit nervous but confident that the School Council could persuade the County Council to give their support. We worked well as a team as we explained that we wanted BBC Spotlight and ITV Westcountry evening news to be BSL interpreted.

The Deaf Academy believes that it is important for deaf people to have equal access to the news. We are so happy that Devon County Council have agreed to support. All of The Councillors made us feel so welcome.”

The Council will now send the motion to The Cabinet. We are waiting for a response from our local TV news broadcasters. You can watch a video of our students’ presentation to the council here.