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Sign Language Week 2023 is an exciting national campaign led by the British Deaf Association (BDA). The theme for 2023’s campaign will be “Protecting BSL”.

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Sign Language Week 2023

Welcome to Sign Language Week 2023, an exciting national campaign led by the British Deaf Association (BDA). The theme for 2023’s campaign will be Protecting BSL”.

This year’s Sign Language (BSL) Week will take place from 13 – 19 March 2023.


What is Sign Language Week?

Sign Language Week is celebrated every year in March to commemorate the first time British Sign Language (BSL) was acknowledged as a language by the UK Government on 18 March 2003. This year marks the 20th anniversary of that historic moment! The positive impact of BSL on thousands of Deaf and hard of hearing people are often under appreciated. That’s why we think it’s crucial that we help stress the importance of BSL awareness so together, we can make a huge difference.

The aim for Sign Language Week is to celebrate and educate the British public about British Sign Language (BSL), to encourage more people to start learning the visual language, and to protect and preserve BSL for future generations to come, as well as help break down barriers and end language deprivation for Deaf people.

It also aims to encourage people of all ages across the UK to take up the challenge of learning BSL for themselves and finding out more about the language and culture of the Deaf, Deafblind and hard of hearing British people for whom BSL is their first or preferred language.

What is BSL: Understanding the Language

British Sign Language (BSL) is the first of preferred language of thousands of Deaf people in Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

The British Deaf Association

The British Deaf Association have made it their mission as the guardians of British Sign Language to protect and preserve their language, in particular to encourage the possibilities for parents of Deaf children to learn to sign with them, and from discouraging those from promoting communication systems such as Makaton and Signalong, which are believed to be an inadequate substitute for BSL when communicating with Deaf people.

The British Deaf Association aim to build upon the official recognition of their language in 2022 to get more people across the country learning BSL and becoming allies of the Deaf community, who can support them as they work to protect, preserve, and promote the visual language for future generations to come.

Did you know?

  • Setting The Standard for a BSL GCSE
  • The Government is currently developing a GCSE qualification in BSL, something the Deaf community has campaigned for many years.
  • Getting Recognised
  • On 28 April 2022, British Sign Language was finally recognised in law as an indigenous language of Great Britain in the BSL Act (2022). This followed similarly ground-breaking legislation in Scotland - the BSL Act (Scotland) (2015).
  • Fingerspelling Card – you can download a copy of the BSL fingerspelling card to help get you communicating in BSL today!


'Signature's' Sign Language (BSL) lesson

In partnership with the British Deaf Association (BDA), Signature, an awarding body for British Sign Language (BSL) will be hosting the UK’s largest British Sign Language (BSL) lesson online with primary schools across the UK. This will give individuals and schools the opportunity to learn BSL from a Deaf teacher, as well as understand the wider benefits for children, help them build on their communication skills and confidence, learn new ways for them to express emotions and an appreciation of the diverse cultures of the UK.

Did you find our ‘Sign Language Week 2023’ news story insightful? If you did, you might also enjoy reading our ‘World Hearing Day’ blog.

Stay tuned for our upcoming blog about ‘Deaf Awareness Week’ which take places from the 2-8th of May to help promote the positivity of living with deafness.

Why Sarabec Ltd?

At Sarabec Ltd, the leading UK suppliers of hearing equipment, including loop systems, extra loud doorbells, phones, & more, we aim to offer some independence while supporting the day-to-day living of those with a hearing impairment. Get in touch via our contact form for any enquiries.

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