British Sign Language (BSL) is the preferred language of over 87,000 Deaf people in the UK for whom English may be a second or third language. (A total of 151,000 individuals in the UK who can use BSL - this figure does not include professional BSL users, Interpreters, Translators, etc unless they use BSL at home). Did you know there are also variations of Sign Language in English, such as American Sign Language and Australian Sign Language? As with spoken languages, there are also regional dialects, such as within the UK.
It's a momentous time for BSL as in April this year a bill passed by the House of Lords received Royal Ascent, formally acknowledging BSL as a recognised language for the first time. The landmark move follows many years of campaigning by the Deaf community and supporters, in recognition of their language and the right to access public services such as health and education using sign language.
Fancy an intro to BSL? The video below will teach you a few useful greetings, manners and phrases in BSL.