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Twelve-Year-Old Deaf Boy Trying To Make Sign Language A GCSE Subject

Twelve-Year-Old Deaf Boy Trying To Make Sign Language A GCSE Subject

A 12-year-old LAD has started a campaign to have British Sign Language made a GCSE subject.

Daniel Jillings speaks British Sign Language as a first language, but is prevented from studying a foreign language at GCSE level because of his inability to hear.

Right now, the curriculum requires anyone studying a foreign language to do a listening and speaking test - but obviously, for Daniel, this is impossible.

For this reason he wants a GCSE subject in BSL to be developed and added to the list of subjects on the curriculum as soon as possible.

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He has set up a campaign page for his cause on which supporters can pledge money to help with legal costs. On it he says: "In a few years I will be doing my GCSEs but for me and other deaf children who use BSL, there is currently no GCSE in our own language, British Sign Language.

"There are many Foreign language GCSEs available but as a Deaf BSL user, I cannot achieve a GCSE in these because of the speaking and listening exams.

"I feel that it is wrong that Deaf children cannot achieve a GCSE in a signed language instead. My mother has been speaking to lawyers who have advised that the lack of a GCSE in BSL may well be discriminatory and unlawful."

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This could be true, as well.

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The Equality Act of 2010 and the Human Rights Act of 1998 may be instrumental in any legal challenges to having BSL recognised on the curriculum.

His page continues: "I want to raise enough money to cover the initial legal costs of challenging the delay on introducing a GCSE in BSL under the grounds mentioned above, as the delay is unfair to Deaf children and is denying them the same opportunities as children who use other languages such as Welsh.

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"Indeed the Government have not yet even promised that a GCSE in BSL will be introduced at all, never mind in time for me to take it alongside my other GCSEs."

"If the claim succeeds this will have a huge impact on Deaf children who will be able to achieve a GCSE in their first language, as GCSEs are widely recognised by employers and colleges.

"This will also give the opportunity for hearing children to learn BSL in school, so they can communicate with deaf people both in school and adult life.

"In the longer term, this could encourage many more people to pursue a career in BSL interpreting, which will further benefit the Deaf community."

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It's pretty hard to disagree with him. Good luck!

Featured Image Credit: Crowd Justice/Daniel Jillings

Topics: UK News, News, GCSE, deaf, UK, Education

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Tom Wood

Tom Wood is a freelance journalist and LADbible contributor. He graduated from University of London with a BA in Philosophy before studying for a Masters in Journalism at the University of Salford. He has previously written for the M.E.N Group as well as working for several top professional sports clubs. Contact him on [email protected]