British Sign Language (BSL) Equality

The BSL Charter

We adopted the BSL Charter on 18 March 2003. We were the first local authority to do this. To date we have been asked to present our model of implementation of the Charter to different Local Authorities around the UK.

Reports and research

Consultation and report on educational provision for deaf children and young people in Bristol

We commissioned a report, A Review of Educational Provision for Deaf Children and Young People in Bristol (pdf, 138 KB) (opens new window) (pdf, 138k) (opens new window) , which was completed in June 2010.

Research with deaf people

We researched the Deaf BSL community in Bristol from January to May 2010. This research was started so that we could have a better understanding of how to meet the needs and requirements of the deaf community. We aimed to find any gaps or failings in the services provided locally, which will help to develop future plans for the council’s Deaf Equality Officers.

A total of 48 people were interviewed, mostly face-to-face by using BSL as this meant that any questions that people were unsure about could be clarified, and allowed the opportunity to explore more about their views. This research was also an opportunity to discuss and explain more about the services available in Bristol, and helped towards the development of a booklet on services for deaf people in Bristol.(opens new window)

Learning to sign

If you are interested in learning BSL there are various courses available in Bristol and nearby. The best way to learn is to take a course taught by a qualified sign language teacher. There are different courses, at different levels and for different types of qualifications. You can contact the training providers directly for further information.

Introduction to Sign Language or Deaf Awareness courses

Level 1 courses

Level 2 courses

Level 3 and 4 courses

You can find out more about BSL courses in this area on the British Deaf Association website.

Useful links