Page last updated at 14:07 GMT, Monday, 27 October 2008

Opening up sign language to all


British Sign Language is about to be made accessible to a wider number of people, thanks to video and internet technology.

Read the full transcript of this video package

Seonag MacKinnon, BBC Scotland education correspondent: "Drama time for St Vincent's School for the Deaf in Glasgow. The game, 'Pass the Hot Potato'. The hot issue in the deaf community is the lack of recognition for their language. Pupils have a tough time trying to do the things hearing people take for granted."

Pupil One: "Sometimes you go to see a film and you know it's maybe in Spanish and things and there are subtitles, but we don't have that."

Pupil two: "When I go into a shop and I ask for something, I want something, whatever it is, I feel really embarrassed and sometimes I leave it and I just walk out."

Pupil Three: "They don't understand and because of that I feel I just have to be in my local area or at home."

Seonag MacKinnon, BBC Scotland education correspondent: "Little wonder then that the deaf community is not just a quiet element in in our society it is almost invisible too. It doesn't help that signs have been hidden away in a dated text book. Good news, the rich range of British Sign Language is to be logged in video clips on the internet.

Professor Graham Turner, Heriot Watt University: "Through video taping and using computer technology we can analyse British Sign Language for the first time in all sorts of new ways and that is an incredibly exiting opportunity for linguistics and the deaf community."

Seonag MacKinnon, BBC Scotland education correspondent: "Campaigners hope that creating a digital dictionary will lead to greater awareness and legal recognition for a language used by 70,000 people. Seonag MacKinnon, Reporting Scotland, Glasgow."

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