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Is progress around British Sign Language (BSL) happening quickly enough?

25th November - 02nd December 2022

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Total votes


5-11 votes


11-16+ votes

There has been a growth in interest as well as provision for people who use British Sign Language (BSL).

Actor Rose Ayling-Ellis and Love Island Contestant Tasha Ghouri have brought to the forefront some of the issues that deaf people experience. They have both been involved in promoting the use of BSL in schools and in wider society.

These have taken the form of dramatic advances in implants to help those hard of hearing or the increasing use of BSL.

There are an estimated 151,000 people who use BSL and that number is growing.

In support of International Day of People with Disabilities (IDPD) on 3rd December, our voters considered the use of British Sign Language to improve accessibility for the deaf and hard of hearing community.

It is worth noting that many in this community don’t define themselves as having a disability, however laws are in place through the British Equality Act (2010) to ensure their rights are protected. Our voters discussed what progress has already been made around BSL and whether it is enough.

A young child sitting with crossed legs and looking quizzical.

Primary school

"I think we need more awareness of BSL as people who are deaf must feel very isolated. If we all learn BSL, people will feel appreciated."

A teenager with a serious look on their face.

Secondary school

"There could still be lots more done and maybe young children should be taught BSL basics in nursery. Some of this progress should have been made a long time ago. People have been deaf for a long time."

A college student with arms folded and a serious look.


"There is progress happening which is good, but there needs to be more happening so that awareness spreads faster and things become more accessible in the future."

77% of 11+ year olds think that progress around British Sign Language (BSL) isn't happening quickly enough.

  • We asked our students aged 11+ whether progress around British Sign Language is happening quickly enough.
  • The majority voted that it isn't, with an impressive 24,140 votes on the issue.
83% of 5-7 year olds voted that everyone should learn sign language.

  • Our question for 5-7 year olds was slighty different, as we asked them whether everyone should learn sign language.
  • With 83% voting 'Yes', it poses the question of whether sign language should be included in our National Curriculum.
83% of 7-11 year olds believe that more people will start learning BSL if we increase awareness.

  • How can we increase the number of people learning sign language? Our 7-11 year old students believe that increasing awareness is where we need to start.
  • A whopping 83% voted that increased awareness will encourage more people to take the plunge and learn BSL as an additional language.
This week's results in a doughnut chart.