Michael Gove loses court case over lack of of sign language at Covid briefings

Support us and go ad-free

A deaf woman who took High Court action after complaining about a lack of British Sign Language interpreters at Government Covid-19 briefings in England has won a compensation fight.

Katie Rowley took legal action against Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove.

Rowley, a self-employed actor and writer, said the government had breached obligations to make broadcasts accessible to deaf people under equality legislation.

Ministers disputed this and lawyers representing Gove said Rowley’s claim should be dismissed.

A judge based in London made a ruling in Rowley’s favour on 28 July.

Justice Fordham said the absence of any British sign language interpretation for “data briefings” on September 21 2020 and October 12 2020 constituted “discrimination” against Rowley.

He said damages would be assessed by a judge in a county court and added that the government was not “in present or continuing breach”.

Read on...

Support us and go ad-free

Similar briefings by Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford, his Scottish counterpart Nicola Sturgeon and from Stormont in Northern Ireland included British Sign Language interpreters on screen.

Support us and go ad-free

Do your bit for independent journalism

Did you know that less than 1.5% of our readers contribute financially to The Canary? Imagine what we could do if just a few more people joined our movement to achieve a shared vision of a free and fair society where we nurture people and planet.

We need you to help out, if you can.

When you give a monthly amount to fund our work, you are supporting truly independent journalism. We hold power to account and have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence the counterpoint to the mainstream.

You can count on us for rigorous journalism and fearless opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right wing mainstream media.

In return you get:

  • Advert free reading experience
  • Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
  • 20% discount from our shop

 

The Canary Fund us