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Strictly winner Rose Ayling-Ellis makes deaf rights plea ahead of Christmas

The EastEnders star is hopeful BSL will be declared as an official language

strictly rose ayling ellis deaf
Kate Thomas
Lifestyle Managing Editor
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Strictly Come Dancing champion Rose Ayling-Ellis is continuing to be a role model for the deaf community, using her platform to raise awareness of an important campaign just before Christmas.

MORE: Strictly star Rose Ayling-Ellis is driving home for Christmas with a very special guest!

The 28-year-old star shared a link to West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper's website, explaining how vital the politician's upcoming parliamentary debate about her British Sign Language Bill is. Rose, who was Strictly's first-ever deaf contestant, told her Instagram followers: "This is such a huge, important event for the deaf community to get the government to declare BSL as an official language. It sounds so simple but it would do so much good and change things for [the] better."

WATCH: Rose Ayling-Ellis reveals family hardship

Rosie Cooper's parliamentary debate of her British Sign Language Bill is set to take place on 28 January 2022, but she has also invited all MPs to attend a drop-in event on 19 January.

READ: Giovanni Pernice's touching gesture for Rose Ayling-Ellis after Strictly win revealed

The special event, hosted in Parliament, is being backed by the British Deaf Association, RNID and other charities representing the deaf community, and aims to get cross-party support from MPs ahead of the debate.

rose ayling ellis giovanni pernice win© Photo: Instagram

Rose has become a role model for the deaf community

Rosie Cooper MP said: "It has been over six months since I introduced my British Sign Language Bill into Parliament and chose 28 January as the date for the debate. The timing couldn't have been better! Rose Ayling-Ellis has brought this incredibly important issue into every living room via TV screens across the country while she conquered Strictly Come Dancing!

"As the daughter of profoundly deaf parents, I grew up with BSL as my first language, so to see it being used every weekend on Strictly is phenomenal. So many people are signing up to learn BSL and have a much clearer understanding of what BSL is and why it essential that we recognise it as an official language.

rose ayling ellis strictly smiling© Photo: Instagram

Rose is backing a bill for BSL to be recognised as an official language

"There are around 90,000 deaf people in the UK that rely on BSL, yet they have to fight every day to be heard or listened to! My Bill aims to help put deaf BSL users on a more equal playing field with everyone else, to require the Government to work with Deaf people to develop guidance on how public bodies should enable the use of BSL across their services.

"I hope as many MPs as possible are able to come to the drop-in event in Parliament on 19 January, so we can get cross-party support for the Bill at the debate on the 28th!"

rose ayling ellis giovanni strictly© Photo: Instagram

Rose and Giovanni Pernice were worthy winners

Rose charmed Strictly viewers with her amazing dance moves, heartwarming friendship with Giovanni Pernice, and warm personality.

READ: 'Mask-wearing has made me feel vulnerable': how the pandemic is affecting the deaf community

She has also done a great deal to raise awareness of the deaf community in the UK, with Google searches for learning sign language increasing by a whopping 488 per cent during her time on the BBC competition.

If you're keen to learn more, Rose previously shared a link to the BSL courses she recommends.

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