ATR has received information from the welsh assembly regarding clarification of online BDA and other UK deaf blog and social media claims, Wales has adopted a BSL Bill, this is not true.
We’ve received a response from Welsh Government regarding your query. Please find below.
A British Sign Language (BSL) Bill has not been formally introduced or passed by the Senedd.
On 24 February 2021, the Senedd debated a legislative proposal from Mark Isherwood MS for a British Sign Language (BSL) Bill. Debates in the Senedd are based on ‘motions’. The motion in the debate asked Members to note a proposal for a Bill to encourage the use of BSL in Wales and improve access to education and services in BSL. The specific wording of the motion can be found here.
The Senedd approved the motion. 37 Members voted in favour. No Members voted against the motion and 15 Members abstained. The breakdown of the vote by individual Member can be found here.
[Note currently there are 60 members, but post next election this may be less this raises further issues.)
"Can the proposal be challenged/removed? (ATR had raised clarification issues regarding signed educational approaches, but not general access to BSL, because there were grey areas that were not identified, and there was a lack of research done by the Senedd member Mr Isherwood, who apparently just cut and paste from BDA Bill in Scotland.
There is no available mechanism to remove a Member’s proposal approved by the Senedd. However, the Senedd approving this motion does not automatically mean that a BSL Bill will be introduced to the Senedd or that the Senedd would necessarily support such Bill.
For a Senedd Member outside the Welsh Government to formally introduce a Bill to the Senedd, the proposal must generally be chosen from a ballot. The process is summarised here.
The Senedd’s website lists current proposals awaiting the next ballot. The list does not contain a proposal for a BSL Bill.
The next Senedd general election is scheduled for 6 May 2021.
The motion approved by the Senedd on 24 February will not be binding on the newly elected Senedd.
If I can be of any further assistance please don’t hesitate to get back in touch.
Case Worker/Gweithiwr Achos
ATR: Many Thanks Bronwen.