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Departments: Sign Language

Volume 461: debated on Thursday 14 June 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what assessment he has made of the merits of providing British Sign Language (BSL) videos on his departmental website for the benefit of those whose first language is BSL. (142492)

We always consider the needs of minority audiences, including those for whom BSL is a first language, when developing communications campaigns for external audiences, working closely with the Central Office of Information (COI) Diversity Unit. Decisions about the scale and shape of campaign activity need to reflect our responsibility to get the best possible value for money from our marketing budgets.

In recent years, we contributed to a cross-Whitehall BSL video magazine, distributed by COI, which has now been discontinued. The increasing public access to digital media has helped us to respond to accessibility issues around provision of our information. We are committed to including all our public information campaigns on our website in plain English, which helps to overcome many barriers for those with impaired hearing.