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From:  "Judy A. Kegl"
Date:  Mon Jul 5, 1999  9:06 pm
Subject:  FW: BSL Support Petition


--Judy Kegl
Linguistics Program
University of Southern Maine
96 Falmouth Street
Portland, ME 04104-9300

Phone: 207-780-4531
Fax: 207-780-5561
e-mail: ,

From: Wayne Cowart
To: SignWriting List , ,
, , Judy Kegl
, "Judy A. Kegl",
, , ,
, "Rosen, Pam" , ,
, ,
Subject: BSL Support Petition
Date: Fri, Jun 11, 1999, 6:49 AM

Subject: BSL Support Petition

IMPORTANT: Please do not delete this mail! Don't kill the petition!


British Sign Language (BSL) is the first language of 57,000-65,000 Deaf
people in the UK. Thousands more use it as a second language and over a
million have mastered a basic level of proficiency. In the past Deaf
people have been prevented from using their own language. In 1880, a
Milan conference banned it's use in schools but today it continues to
thrive despite attempts to squash it. British Sign Language is the
language by which English deaf people achieve access to society since
many have little or no access to spoken English. Just as Welsh people
have secured their right to be educated and live their lives through the
Welsh Language, so too should Deaf people be able to take their place
along side hearing English speakers as full and equal citizens.

The Federation of Deaf People (FDP) is organising a march for the legal
recognition of BSL by the British Government. The march will take place
on Sunday 27th June 1999.

The march will start from Temple Place, London WC2, a petition will be
delivered to Downing street and then continue to the finish at Trafalgar
Square where a rally will be held.

We want the British Government to fully and unconditionally accept
British Sign Language as a true language, native to the United Kingdom,
with full access through it to all who wish to use it. The FDP will ask
for a British Sign Language taskforce to be set up to examine the
legislative development needed to protect British Sign Language and to
enable its users full and equal access as British citizens.

The FDP will demand amongst other things.
* a review of adequacy of current state provision of interpreting
services and ask that greater state funding is made available for
services and for training courses to alleviate the shortage of Sign
Language Interpreters.

* a review of the use of British Sign Language in the education to
ensure that it is made available as a choice for all deaf children.
We want official recognition of our language and our right to use it!

Please add your name to the list and send it on to all your friends,
family and colleagues!

If you are number 20) on the list please continue the petition by
forwarding it to your friends but also send it to

It is better to copy this e-mail and then send it on. You can forward it
but the petition will end up with a long list of names at the top of the

Even if you don't want to sign the petition please don't kill it by
deleting it. Instead, please just forward it or send it back to

If you receive several copies of this petition, please don't delete it
but keep the chains going if possible!

***if anyone would like to receive a hard copy of the petition to print
out and collect signatures from friends without e-mail please contact
and we will e-mail it to you as a WORD 6

1. Marlon Kuntze California USA
2. Shelley Lawrence, California, USA
3. Stephanie Feyne, New York, NY
4. Mary Darragh MacLean, NY
5. Gay A. Koenemann, Bonn-Beuel, Germany
6. Jan Niedermaier, Trenton, NJ, USA
7. Jane Hecker-Cain, Kennebunk, Maine, USA
8. Wayne Cowart, Portland, Maine, USA
9. Judy Kegl, Portland, Maine, USA


Wayne Cowart
/ Prof. of Linguistics
/ Director, USM Core Curriculum
University of Southern Maine
96 Falmouth St.
Portland, ME 04104-9300

USM Linguistics Webpage:
USM Core Webpage:
Phone:(207)780-4477 FAX:(207) 780-5561 TTY:(207) 780-4069


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