UK: Judicial review brought over lack of BSL at coronavirus briefings
Judicial review proceedings have been brought against the UK government for failing to have a British Sign Language (BSL) interpreter on stage at its daily coronavirus briefings.
Sheffield lawyer Chris Fry sent a pre-action protocol letter to the government at the end of March on behalf of an 85-year-old Deaf man whose first language is BSL.
The government said it has established BSL interpretation via the BBC News channel and iPlayer and is “working to ensure greater replication of this signed interpretation across a wider range of media channels”.
However, Mr Fry said this is “problematic for a number of reasons”, including some Deaf people’s lack of access to the BBC News channel and online services.
The Scottish and Welsh governments have BSL interpreters standing behind ministers during their own daily briefings, reflecting the statutory recognition of BSL in Scotland and Wales.