Getting your views on our draft BSL plan

30 October 2018

Our office has produced a draft plan for British Sign Language (BSL) — and we’re looking for feedback from as many people as possible.

You can respond to our plan in any way you want. This might include:

  • video relay via ContactScotland,
  • video message over social media— like Twitter or Facebook,
  • email.

Your views are really important to us and will help improve our plan. Let us know what you think by Monday 12 November.

Our draft plan in BSL:

Producing our draft plan

We engaged with young BSL users to develop our draft plan. We held a workshop and asked them:

  • the best way for us to share human rights information with young BSL users,
  • how they’d like us to work with them so that their views were considered in all our work, and
  • how we could make sure BSL users from across Scotland have the chance to be involved in our work.

What they told us helped us create our draft BSL plan. We’ll continue to engage with young people who are BSL users around our plan’s effectiveness, and we’ll update our plan as we receive feedback around the promises we’ve made.

We’ll produce an interim report on the plan in 2020 and will also contribute to the national progress review on the National BSL Plan that’s scheduled for that year.

About our BSL Plan

Our draft plan sets out actions we’ll take between 2018 and 2024 to:

  • promote the use of BSL,
  • improve access to information and services for BSL users, and
  • to improve involvement of BSL users in our work.

Public bodies in Scotland have to produce a BSL plan under the British Sign Language National Plan 2017- 2023 and the British Sign Language (Scotland) Act 2015 .

It’s a positive step forward in realising the rights of BSL users in Scotland. Like everyone else, they have the right to be involved and access information about our work without unnecessary barriers— including language barriers.

Many children and young people in Scotland use BSL as their primary language, and they have several rights around its usage.

For example, Article 29 of the UNCRC gives children whose main or only language is BSL have the right to access quality education from someone who is proficient and a fully qualified teacher of the Deaf.

And Article 30 underlines a child’s right to use their own language to participate fully in community life.

And the UN Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic Religious and Linguistic Minorities says that all linguistic minorities – including BSL users – have the right to enjoy their own culture without discrimination, and have opportunities to learn their own language or to be instructed by people who use their own language.