During the current COVID-19 lockdown accessing the news has become a crucial part of everyday lives, especially when government briefings are being shown. However, unlike many other countries, the English government do not have a BSL interpreter present to provide real-time BSL interpretation at these meetings.
The #WhereIsTheInterpreter campaign was started by Deaf BSL user Lynn Stewart-Taylor on Twitter, to bring awareness to the fact that for many BSL users, subtitling is not enough. Lynn says:
“This campaigning really is not my area of expertise in all fairness, but it’s something that really touched such a nerve with me about the fact that we weren’t being treated equally, we’re not getting access to information.
Things just aren’t fair, so that’s made me feel like now’s the time to speak out and kind of let’s really shout as loudly as we can in sign language.”
This is something close to our students’ hearts; our Student Council have been campaigning for BSL interpretation of the news for the past year, including a visit to Devon County Council to speak to local councillors and officials about the issues. They have written to local news stations BBC Spotlight and ITV West Country to highlight the issue, and are passionate about ensuring equal access to information. Read the story here.
If you agree with Lynn and our students, and would like to support the fight for equality, please sign the government petition here.