Parliament: Sign Language

House of Commons Commission written question – answered on 7th October 2019.

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Photo of Rachael Maskell Rachael Maskell Shadow Minister (Transport)

To ask the right hon. Member for Carshalton and Wallington, representing the House of Commons Commission, whether the Commission plans to provide British Sign Language interpreters for all Parliamentary debates.

Photo of Tom Brake Tom Brake Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Exiting the European Union), Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Duchy of Lancaster)

British Sign Language (BSL) has been provided for a number of debates in Westminster Hall over the past two years, with signing successfully integrated into the video output on parliamentlive.tv. A studio area has now been established in 7 Millbank where filming of BSL interpreters can take place.

I am pleased to inform the hon. Member that funding has been approved for BSL interpretation of Prime Minister’s Questions for the period November 2019 to March 2020 and funding for BSL interpretation beyond this period is being considered. This service will be reviewed by February 2020 and further consideration given to wider use of BSL for other Parliamentary proceedings.

A proposal for live subtitling of all proceedings in the House of Commons Chamber to be shown on parliamentlive.tv is also currently being considered.

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