BSL - British Sign Language video:

ISL - Irish Sign Language video:

Text transcript from videos:

  • Belfast – 2nd – 6th November 2015 – WFD and WFDYS - first meeting of newly elected boards following Congress in Turkey in July.

  • Tuesday November 3rd – a Civic Reception was held at Belfast City Hall for the WFD/WFDYS boards – hosted by Deputy Lord Mayor Alderman Guy Spence who welcomed the international guests to Belfast and told the audience that he had recently welcomed a World Deaf Bowing competitors from around the world . He said Belfast is a progressive city and as a young politician (23) he hopes to see many more positive changes in the future.

  • BDA Chair, Terry Riley, spoke about the history of the BDA and the connections to Belfast through our founder Francis Maginn.  Terry went on to call on the NI Assembly to following the lead of the Scottish Government and introduce a BSL/ISL Bill.

  • DCAL Minister Caral Ní Chuilín surprised the audience by announcing that she would like her Department to introduce a Draft BSL/ISL Bill before the end of the current Parliament.  She cautioned the audience that the bill will not be enacted during the current term but she intends for work on the Draft Bill to get it underway as soon as possible.  This is wonderful news for the Deaf community in Northern Ireland but it will be a slow process.

  • Equality Commissioner for NI, Dr Michael Wardlow presented certifications to Belfast City Council staff who have completed their BSL Frontline/Deaf Equality Training and Deaf Roots and Pride participants who have completed their ‘Introduction to BSL’ course. Photographs are on the BDA website and Facebook pages.

  • 4 Recognition Awards were presented by Les Allamby of the Human Rights Commission to the Public Health Agency for ‘Access to Information’, to the Ulster Fold & Transport Museum for ‘Access to Services’, to the Alzheimer’s Society for ‘Effective Partnership’ and to BBC Newsline for ‘Making BSL Visible’.

  • All that remains is for me to thank everyone who joined us at the Civic Reception especially the members of the WFD/WFDSY boards, the BDA staff , the staff at Belfast City Hall and especially Deputy Lord Mayor Guy Spence, Minister Caral Ní Chuilín and all of our guests from across the whole of Ireland.

Download Civic Reception programme leaflet here