45 commitments to tackle barriers.
Actions to help improve the lives of British Sign Language (BSL) users have been published as part of ongoing work to make Scotland the best place to live, work and visit for people that use the language.
The BSL National Plan 2023-29 has made 45 commitments aimed at tackling barriers faced by BSL users by embedding the language across health, education, transport, culture and employment.
Commitments made include:
- building the right partnerships and connections to ensure deaf and deafblind children and their families can access BSL support at an early stage
- improving accessibility to arts and culture events, in addition to promoting BSL culture
- working with Transport Scotland and transport operators on solutions to make public transport easier to use for BSL users
- improving accessibility of the Scottish Government website for BSL users
Education Secretary Jenny Gilruth said:
“BSL is a vibrant language which is of significant importance to the lives of many people. This plan lays out our ambition to make Scotland the best place in the world for BSL users to visit and live in. These 45 commitments will improve access to vital services and provide more opportunities for BSL users to contribute further to Scotland’s economy, culture and communities.
“The BSL community should be at heart of our decision making process in this area, which is why we will also establish a BSL National Plan Implementation Advisory Group, to ensure that the views of the community are properly represented.”
Philip Gerrard, CEO at Deaf Action, said:
"I welcome the publication of the new National BSL Plan for Scotland. It was a pleasure to be part of the consultation process that led to the new plan, which demonstrates the continued commitment of the Scottish Government to improving the experiences of BSL users who live, work, visit and learn in Scotland. I now urge all agencies with responsibilities under this plan to meaningfully engage with it - there is much to do."
The BSL National Plan Implementation Advisory Group will ensure that actions in the plan are on target to be delivered by 2029. The group, which will be made up of representatives from the BSL community, will publish an update report in 2026.
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