British Sign Language (BSL) national plan 2023-2029: consultation

We are seeking views on the British Sign Language National Plan 2023 to 2029 to inform the final publication in autumn 2023.

Part 4: Background

Policy Context

The BSL (Scotland) Act 2015 requires the Scottish Ministers and public bodies listed in the Act (listed authorities) to publish, and consult on, a draft of their BSL plan, and to use the feedback gathered to inform policy development. The Act is clear that the people consulted are to be those who are likely to be directly affected or otherwise to have an interest in the policy or plan. We are seeking views from those who use BSL, and people or organisations who represent users of British Sign Language in this consultation.

The consultation will be accessible to people who use BSL and who are deaf, or deafblind.

The BSL (Scotland) Act 2015 aims to promote the use of BSL by making provision for the preparation and publication of national and local authority plans. Where a public body has previously published an authority plan, they are required to state how, when and to what extent measures set out by the listed authority were taken. Listed Authorities will continue to review their approach to make improvements in subsequent plans. We anticipate that responses to this consultation will reference listed authority plans or highlight service provision in local communities. We welcome this feedback.


October 2015

BSL (Scotland) Act 2015 was published.

March-May 2017

Public consultation on the draft BSL National Plan 2017-2023 was carried out.

October 2017

BSL National Plan 2017-2023 was published.

October 2021

BSL National Plan 2017-2023 Progress Report was published.

June-September 2023

Public consultation on the draft BSL National Plan 2023-2029.

October 2023

BSL National Plan 2023-2029 publication.



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