History will be made at the Carabao Cup Final 2022 today, Sunday 27 February, with a British Sign Language (BSL) interpreter present to translate the national anthem. The anthem will be performed by singer-songwriter Twinnie and the translation will be a first for English football. As part of Level Playing Field’s Weeks of Action 2022, BSL interpreter Ben Bridger will also be wearing LFP Weeks of Action clothing throughout the national anthem.
Sign languages are fully functional and expressive languages; at the same time they differ profoundly from spoken languages. BSL is a visual-gestural language with a distinctive grammar using handshapes, facial expressions, gestures and body language to convey meaning.
For the first time, the 2011 Census contained a question on languages which enabled individuals to identify as BSL users. There are 73,000 deaf BSL users in England as their first language and a total of 127,000 BSL users, with one in six people in the UK adults population affected by hearing loss.
The LFP Weeks of Action takes place between Saturday 26 February to Sunday 13 March this year. In its 18th season, LFP’s annual Weeks of Action campaign looks to shine a light on the positive work being done by Clubs, Disabled Supporters Associations (DSAs), fans and other organisations towards access and inclusion. The key objective of the Weeks of Action is to raise awareness of good access and inclusion and how it benefits disabled fans and the wider community, with the main aim being to drive a greater matchday experience to encourage more disabled fans to watch the ‘beautiful game'.