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British Sign Language

Volume 402: debated on Thursday 3 April 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to his answer of 14 March 2003, Official Report, column 494W, on British Sign Language (BSL), what projects the Government have funded (a) to increase the number of BSL interpreters and (b) to improve the infrastructure for interpreter training and assessment, broken down by region. [106901]

The former Department for Education and Employment let contracts with the Royal National Institute for Deaf People (RNID) and the Council for the Advancement of Communication with Deaf People (CACDP) to address the shortage of interpreters and to improve the training infrastructure. No information is held with regard to breakdown by region.CACDP contract has now come to an end. The RNID contact runs until 2004.In the statement he made to the House on BSL on 18 March 2003, my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, announced a discrete programme of initiatives to support the statement. We will be consulting organisations of and for deaf people about how the additional funding of £1 million should be allocated.