City of Wolverhampton Council has become the first council in England to achieve the British Deaf Association’s (BDA) pledge 2 status.

It is one of five pledges set out by the BDA’s charter for British Sign Language - and the council is currently working on completing two more. Pledge 2 promotes learning and high quality teaching of British Sign Language (BSL). The BDA presented the award in the Mayor of Wolverhampton’s parlour this week.

The BDA’s Charter for British Sign Language encourages councils to meet several pledges, and in doing so help eliminate unlawful discrimination, support equal opportunities, and build good relations with the deaf community. 

It confirms the council's commitment to three of the five key pledges, which are ensuring access to information and services for deaf people, promoting learning and high quality teaching of BSL, consulting with the deaf community on a regular basis, supporting deaf children and families, and ensuring staff working with deaf people can communicate effectively in BS.

Paul Redforn, Business Development Manager for the BDA, presented Councillor Ian Claymore, Member Champion for Equalities, with the award.

Paul said: "The BDA is delighted to present this certificate of achievement to City of Wolverhampton Council. The council is the first in England to be awarded this certificate and I would like to congratulate the council for their work on including deaf people in its services and improving their responses to deaf people's feedback.”

Councillor Claymore added: “I am delighted City of Wolverhampton Council has achieved BDA, BSL pledge 2. 

“The council is committed to doing all it can to support everyone who lives, works or visits the City of Wolverhampton and the completion of the first pledge puts us on the right track.

“One in seven people in the UK have some form of hearing loss, and by signing this charter, and completing the first pledge, we have underlined our determination to further improve the service we offer to members of the deaf community in Wolverhampton.”