Local MP Raises Awareness of the Needs of Deaf People

Rob Butler MP and other MPs at the introduction to BSL session held in the House of Commons (Credit: RNID)

Rob Butler MP for Aylesbury has taken part in an introduction to British Sign Language (BSL) session in the House of Commons to raise awareness of the needs of deaf people.

During the session, led by the Royal National Institute for Deaf People’s Advocacy Officer Annie Harris, Rob learnt how to sign a basic conversation in BSL.

Following the passage of the new Parliamentary Act to make BSL an official language in May 2022, Rob hopes that greater public awareness of BSL will break down barriers for the deaf community.

Rob said:

“For people with profound hearing loss, BSL serves an essential function: it offers a lifeline to as many as 250,000 people in the UK who use it to communicate every day. So I was delighted to attend the training session run by the RNID, which was an excellent way to raise awareness of the needs of deaf people following the passage of the BSL Bill in Parliament. I was proud to support the campaign for that new law to legally recognise BSL, and hope that increased understanding of deaf culture leads to real improvements for BSL signers in Aylesbury and across the whole country.”

Annie Harris, Advocacy Officer at the RNID said:

“This year has been huge for the deaf community, with greater public awareness of BSL following deaf contestants on several major TV shows, and the historic moment of BSL being legally recognised in England, Wales and Scotland. I’m thrilled that more and more people are becoming interested in learning our wonderful language, and I’m excited to envision a world where the barriers that deaf people face are removed, and deaf and hearing people are treated.”