In the four years since the publication of Scotland's first ever BSL National Plan, significant progress has been made towards making our country more inclusive and supportive of BSL users. The language enjoys a higher profile than ever before in public life, and is ever more visible in media and communications, not least through innovations in technology which have made access to interpretation easier and faster.
We know, however, that there is still a great deal of work to do. Many of the actions defined in the 2017 Plan remain wholly or partly incomplete. The COVID-19 pandemic has delayed some actions, including the publication of this Progress Report, originally scheduled for 2020. In the interim, the BSL Partnership has assessed and reported on the progress made in various sectors.
In the coming months, COVID-19 recovery plans will be clarified, developed and implemented, with input from the public through accessible consultations. The Scottish Government will consider outstanding actions in the BSL National Plan, and work to get these back on track. Using reports from the BSL Partnership on the progress of work in local authorities, NHS health boards and further and higher education institutions, we will define the next steps which must be taken to ensure access for signers in all areas of life in Scotland.
Achieving our aspirations for BSL in Scotland will take time, effort and engagement. This is a collective and collaborative process, and we would like to thank the BSL Partnership for their vital work, as well as the local authorities, public bodies, universities and colleges who have published and effected their own plans.
Finally, we are grateful to the many signers who have fed into the work, in so many different areas of life, as we strive to make Scotland the best place in the world for BSL users.
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