Our Manifesto

As an organisation it’s very easy to get carried away with fighting for what you believe in. Here at DeafLondon we’ve taken a step back, sat down and thought about who we really are as an organisation and what we plan to do over the coming 12 months.

Our Manifesto explains:

Our ‘beliefs’ – what we believe in
Our ‘aims’ – what we want to see happen
Our ‘activities’ – what we are going to do to reach our aims.

Get the PDF:  DeafLondon Manifesto

DEAFLONDON MANIFESTO

Who we are:
DeafLondon are an organisation working for the interests of the deaf community. We are a team of deaf and hearing people working together to improve the future for deaf people. We do this by running training programs, campaigning for changes in the law, and bringing together people who want to see deaf people in charge of their own lives.

Our BELIEFS:
We believe:

  1. In empowering deaf people to create change for themselves.
  2. Policy decisions affecting deaf people should be taken by deaf people themselves.
  3. Deaf people should be enabled to take responsibility and control over their own lives.
  4. Deaf people should be able to achieve their full language potential.

Our AIMS:
Guided by our beliefs, we will aim to achieve:

  1. A continuing programme of training and education for deaf people.
  2. A deaf-led assessment unit within Access to Work (AtW).
  3. Changes in the law.
    1. The adoption of British Sign Language (BSL) as a minority language
    2. The creation of a BSL Act
  4. Changes in the way BSL is used in education.
    1. BSL as a GCSE
    2. The establishment of a formal language assessment process for deaf children aged 4-11years.
    3. The adoption of the bilingual model of education.

In addition:

  • We will create evidence based policy arguments arising from these beliefs and use these as a basis for campaigning.

Our DEFINITIONS:
What we mean when we use the following words:

BRITISH SIGN LANGUAGE/BSL:  The language used by deaf people in the UK, with its own grammar, vocabulary and syntax.
DEAF: Depending on context, either a person who can’t hear, or a person in the deaf community.
NATIVE BSL USER: A person who has used BSL as their first language since birth.
BILINGUAL: The development of skills and high standards in both languages – BSL and English.
DEAF COMMUNITY: the group of people who are deaf and who use BSL.
AtW: The Access to Work scheme funded by the Department for Work and Pensions

Our ACTIVITIES:
What we will do to achieve our 4 aims:

  1. A continuing programme of training and education.
    We will:

    • Rollout our How To… Lobby your MP! training to 50 members of the deaf community.
    • Support three Deaf Forums who are aiming to achieve independence.
    • Establish a group of ‘Deaf Leaders’ to inform and shape the future of deaf politics.
    • Launch our online Campaign Management tool – Say What? – to the deaf community.
  1. A deaf-led assessment unit within AtW
    We will:

    • Create a policy paper on the case for a deaf-led AtW assessment unit
    • Secure endorsement from deaf organisations involved in AtW campaigns
    • Raise awareness amongst the deaf community about the proposal.
    • Encourage the deaf community to lobby local MPs to support the proposal
    • Support AtW campaign groups 
  1. Changes to legislation, including:
    – The addition of BSL to the European Charter of Regional and Minority Languages
    – The creation of a BSL Act
    We will:

    • Support the addition of BSL under the European Charter
    • Draft a BSL Act which is based on our core beliefs
    • Co-operate with other organisations to improve the draft
    • Raise awareness amongst the deaf community and gather support
    • Post a petition on Change.org, or similar, to gather support
  1. Changes in the way BSL is used in education, including:
    – BSL as a GCSE
    – The establishment of a formal language assessment process for deaf children
    – The adoption of the bilingual model of education.
    We will:

    • Visibly support the campaign for a BSL GCSE
    • Advocate that it should be taught by native signers
    • Raise awareness of, and support for, bilingual model of education for deaf children.
    • Create a case for a new BSL assessment process for deaf children

 ENDS

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