Two women communicating via sign language

Breaking Barriers: The Introduction of British Sign Language as a GCSE and its transformative impact on inclusion

It has recently been announced by the government that, as of September 2025, British Sign Language (BSL) will be taught as a GCSE in England.

The news comes after parents, teachers and organisations from the deaf and hearing communities showed overwhelming support for the proposed course content for the new GCSE. Daniel Jillings, 17, who was born profoundly deaf and without a cochlea, has been campaigning for BSL to be introduced as a GCSE since he was 12 years old. He said he hopes “deaf students will feel less isolated in school”, and that hearing individuals “can improve their awareness of the deaf community”.

The British Deaf Association estimates over 150,000 people use BSL in the UK, with around 87,000 being deaf. BSL serves as a powerful bridge, transcending communication barriers and fostering greater inclusivity for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing. By introducing BSL as a GCSE in England, society takes a significant step towards acknowledging and embracing linguistic diversity. BSL not only empowers the deaf and hard of hearing community by providing a means of communication that reflects their identity but also enhances understanding and empathy among the wider population.

The recognition of BSL as an essential tool highlights the importance of inclusivity in building connections and dismantling communication barriers that have long hindered the full integration of deaf and hard of hearing individuals into society. We hope that their voices can now resonate louder and clearer, in a more understanding community.

Here at The Disability Resource Centre, we are thrilled by this news and fully support this significant step to equality. We remain dedicated to championing initiatives that promote equality, accessibility, and the empowerment of all individuals, regardless of their abilities.

Our fantastic team member, Stacey, is Level 1 qualified in British Sign Language and is available for our service users to meet in-person. If you need support from us and you are deaf or hard of hearing, please do contact us to arrange an appointment with Stacey.

Community Central is a 12 month project supporting Luton residents with: 

- Benefits and money management advice

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Come and speak with our friendly team who are available at community centres in Luton to help you every week

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Luton Central Library (ground floor), St George’s Square, Luton, LU1 2NG

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Lewsey Community Centre, Landrace Rd, Luton, LU4 0SW

Thursdays - Disability advice, benefits advice and carers support

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Trinity Community Centre, 3 Trinity Road, Luton, LU3 1TR

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