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British Deaf Association
The BDA stands for Deaf Equality, Access and Freedom of Choice.
The BDA stands for Deaf Equality, Access and Freedom of Choice.


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We hope you had a good summer break?

We are asking for your support to make our first annual SIGNING FAMILIES DAY a real success.

“Signing Families Day” on 17th September 2016 is linked to the first anniversary of the British Sign Language (Scotland) Act 2015 being passed by the Scottish Parliament last year. This celebration day will be held every year on the Saturday nearest to 17th September.

This year’s theme is “Sign Language is Cool”. We want to let everyone know why families and deaf children enjoy learning and using Sign Language every day – communicating together without language barriers!

This year we are focusing on social media to promote “Signing Families Day” We are encouraging everyone, however good or bad your signing is, to send a positive message that Sign Language is Cool!

Have a look at our short video promo (above) and also the attached poster. Please consider making a short video yourself and encourage friends and colleagues to do one too!

Please use #SigningFamilies when you upload your video to your own social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc) so that we can share yours with others.

Call to action for everyone to get their smartphone and start recording a short video saying such as “ Sign Language is Cool” and upload in readiness for the celebration day and film your family saying it too.

Remember: “Sign Language is Cool!”

Download a poster copy - (PDF)

Web page:

For more information:

Telephone: 020 7697 4140
SMS / FaceTime: 07795 410 724
ooVoo / Skype: bda.britdeafassoc

PS: A date for your diaries. Signing Families Day next year will be on Saturday 16th September 2017 – when the theme will be “It is okay to sign!” We will be encouraging people to arrange events next year. Please contact us if you need more information, support or guidance.

#BSL #BritishSignLanguage #SignLanguage #Deaf #SignLanguageIsCool
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Please visit:

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A ground breaking new system to ensure British Sign Language (BSL) users can easily access Government services is now in operation at the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

The Video Relay Service (VRS) allows users to make BSL interpreted video calls via their tablet, smartphone, computer or laptop. A professional interpreter then relays the call in English to the member of DWP staff.

Read more -

#BSL #a11y #accessible #accessibility #British #Sign #Language #BSL #DWP #VRS #VRI
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Send a Christmas e-card and help raise funds for British Deaf Association:

• BDA gets the equivalent cost of sending all those cards.
• Loved ones receive an e-card and see that you donated.
• Quick and easy alternative that reduces waste.
• Help support our important work with the Deaf community
• No sign-up required
• Easy-to-use alternative to sending cards

Please join us this Christmas to put to better use a proportion of the £1.6bn spent each year on greeting cards.

Send your Xmas e-cards now!:

#donate   #christmascards  #e-cards #christmas   #xmas  #fundraise #deaf  
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Stay tuned for further updates on BDA's Facebook and Twitter! :-)


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Online survey -

Calling all Deaf people in South East Wales, South Central Wales and South West Wales. Are you aged 16 or over?

We want you to give us your opinion about the support you would like. Just 10 minutes of your time to complete a simple survey could help us secure the funding the BDA needs to provide the Deaf-friendly services that you are telling us you want.

You can complete the survey here:

Thank you for your help – your opinion really matters to us and could make a huge difference to the support we can provide for Deaf people across South Wales!

#deaf   #wales   #survey   #support  
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BSL Scotland Act Facebook group now open!

Text transcript of the BSL video:


We would like to welcome you to join to this Facebook group - British Sign Language (Scotland) Act (2015) - see link:

We are excited with a new Facebook group about the BSL (Scotland) Act, which will be an exciting ongoing engagement with Deaf community.

This Facebook group is for topics to be discussed in relation to the BSL (Scotland) Act.

We will be running the Facebook group on behalf of the Deaf Sector Partnership (DSP) which is working with the Scottish Government to support BSL. The DSP includes BDA Scotland, SCoD, Deaf Action, Deaf Connections and Deafblind Scotland, as well as Scottish Government and Voluntary Action Fund (VAF).

We would like you to enjoy this group and contribute well with ideas and solutions, so that the BSL (Scotland) Act and its next stages are well informed through your contributions.

Yours in BSL.

Thank you.

Avril Hepner
Community Development Manager

#BSLAct   #BSLBill   #BritishSignLanguage   #BSL   #Scotland  
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JOIN THE MARCH TOMORROW! - "Stop Changes to Access to Work"

Text transcript of BSL video presented by David Buxton - BDA Director of Campaigns & Communications:

We are supporting the ‘Stop Changes to Access to Work’ march because we believe the Department of Work and Pensions’ process has led to many decisions which will put Access to Work Deaf applicants and British Sign Language (BSL) users at a disadvantage.

We at the British Deaf Association (BDA) want to show solidarity with those members of the Deaf community who are being negatively and unfairly affected by these changes.

From our community’s feedback, we can see that restricting support budgets, cutting hours and imposing unrealistic ceilings on interpreters’ fees are making it even more difficult for Deaf BSL users in employment. It’s concerning that the jobs of many Deaf BSL users, whose support needs now cannot be met, could be at risk.

“We’re encouraged to see the Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, Tom Watson, campaigning against these Access to Work changes and hope other MPs will also listen to the Deaf community’s needs. The BDA is currently researching the effects of the new cap policy on any new Deaf applicants and hope the government will be open to listening to our findings,” said Dr Terry Riley OBE, Chair of the British Deaf Association.

More information about joining for AtW march - see third party's website and Facebook Event:

#ATW   #AccessToWork  #Stopchanges2atw 
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Buy at BDA Shop -

The British Deaf Association is delighted to launch some new limited edition merchandise: a new mug and umbrella.

The BDA has thought for a while about choosing an appropriate design for our ‘125 year’ merchandise. We decided to use a logo that is well known and well loved by the Deaf Community.

We are using the well loved and famous ‘Valerie’ logo exclusively for the merchandise. We have decided to bring it back, retro-style, as a one-off to celebrate our heritage and to celebrate the 125th Anniversary.

There are only 125 mugs and umbrellas. Get yours while they last!

Come and buy at BDA Shop now! -

#limitededition   #Deaf   #BSL   #SignLanguage  
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Press Release - BSL (Scotland) Bill to become Act:

History made - BSL (Scotland) Bill Passed!

Text transcript of BSL video:

Today, Thursday 17 September 2015, a historic landmark occurred when the BSL (Scotland) Bill, introduced by Mark Griffin MSP on 29 October 2014, was passed unanimously by all Parties in the Chamber in Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh.

The British Deaf Association (BDA) Scotland is delighted that the BSL (Scotland) Bill is set to become an Act and will promote the use of British Sign Language.

The BSL (Scotland) Bill received support from MSPs, Deaf organisations, individuals across Scotland and most importantly, the Deaf community. It is this partnership that made such a significant achievement possible.

In four weeks, the Presiding Officer (Tricia Marwick MSP) will submit the Bill for Royal Assent. Once granted, it will become an Act of the Scottish Parliament

This Act will require provision for the preparation and publication of a British Sign Language National Plan for Scotland.

The BDA Scotland would like to give special thanks to Mark Griffin MSP and Hilary Third of the Scottish Government for their close collaboration in working to fulfil the long held central objective of the BDA: equality through the legislation of BSL.

The BDA applauds the Scottish Parliament’s Education and Culture Committee for setting up the original BSL (Scotland) Bill Facebook group for the Deaf community, which proved very successful.

They have been wonderful. They have consistently engaged and communicated with the Deaf community through our first language, BSL.

We also had wonderful support from the MSP’s which drove us to move forward with the BSL (Scotland) Bill. We are looking forward to continuing our partnership with the Scottish Government.

Today is a momentous day for the Scottish Deaf Community, their language and culture for their lives.

I am proud to witness this special historical day today in my country. It is one of the most important days for the Deaf community in Scotland and the rest of the UK.

Today has united the Deaf community in Scotland. It has strengthened the beauty of belonging and the spirit of the Scottish Deaf people about our language, BSL.

I am very proud of being Scottish, today more than ever. Scotland was the first country in the UK to make BSL an Act. It is emotional day for Deaf community in Scotland.

I want to thank everyone for their wonderful support. We will continue to work together and keep up the good positive work. It is now onwards and upwards. It is a day to remember and treasure!

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