Sign language 'as legitimate as Cornish'
British sign language should be made an official language supported by the Government alongside Welsh, Gaelic and Cornish, an MP has said.
Sir Malcolm Bruce, who has a deaf daughter, said sign language was a vital component in helping deaf people access education and services and should be recognised like the Cornish language.
Sir Malcolm, Lib Dem MP for Gordon, Aberdeen, said: "We have a quite different attitude to sign language communication from spoken language communication.
"The Department for Work and Pensions did give legal recognition and definition of sign language and it was hailed ten years ago as a breakthrough. But it isn't recognised across Government – they recognise Cornish, as well as Welsh and Gaelic, which get huge resources. And yet sign language, which is an indigenous, created language – indeed invented [here] – and yet we are not providing support for this language. And yet for some people, it is their only language. I know of no Welsh speaker, no Gaelic speaker and I don't know if there are any Cornish speakers, who don't speak English. But there are sign language users who do not use English and yet we do not support them."
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