Members of the Legislative Assembly sign up to support the call for a sign language Bill.

Text transcript of above video clip:

Dr Terry Riley:

Today is a very important day for the Deaf community for both those in Belfast, Northern Ireland and those in the UK.

The reason for this is that the minister of the Department of Culture, Art and Leisure announced a new framework and consultation with the deaf community. It was also awe-inspiring to see a Sign Language interpreter in the chamber for the first time.

The consultation period will last for sixteen weeks. There will be a new Facebook page set up for people to put forward their views, in a similar way to the BSL Bill in Scotland, to ensure that deaf people are involved within the consultation and able to express their views with regard to the importance of sign language.

I hope you will all support the BSL and ISL Framework Bill Pledge. It is vital that we all work together, it’s so important for deaf children’s futures.

John Carberry:

I am the ISL relay. I am here to talk about the assembly, something happened yesterday and it was a great day because a lot of Deaf people were there to watch the minister make a pledge. 

I went again today, this morning, because the Minster of DCAL gave a talk in their chambers to all the MLA’s to talk about the importance of BSL and ISL.  It is important for families and Deaf people. 

I am really proud of NI for seeing BSL and ISL as a language, I want to say congratulations to the BDA and all the organisations for all the hard work to make our dream come true.  Thank you.

Damian Barry:

What a day!  The culmination of five years of work, consulting with a variety of different groups to create a roadmap. 

Now, that roadmap is becoming a reality, today it was announced in the Stormont Building that they will start the process of consultation to understand fully the needs of deaf people. 

It is really important that for the next sixteen weeks, that we work with everyone who was involved in the road mapping exercise, the deaf community as well as government departments to provide feedback and evidence to support the framework.   

After sixteen weeks, all the evidence will be compiled to create both a BSL and ISL Bill.   

At that point, the next phase can begin between Members of the Legislative Assembly  (MLAs). 

Hopefully twelve to eighteen months down the line, we will see it become law.

I really need your support now to provide feedback over the next sixteen weeks to gather evidence.  We can work with you to show you how to do this.  I look forward to working with you during this consultation period. 

Minister statement and comment in BSL

Minister statement and comment in ISL