British Sign Language - national plan: progress report

A progress report on the British Sign Language (BSL) national plan.

2. Introduction

This Report details progress made in the promotion of BSL in Scotland since the publication of the Scottish Government's BSL National Plan for 2017-2023.

The Scottish Government wants to make Scotland the best place in the world for BSL users* to live, work, learn and visit. This will be realised when people who use BSL as their first or preferred language are fully involved in all aspects of public life.

The BSL National Plan 2017 to 2023 was developed by a National Advisory Group, which includes D/deaf and Deafblind BSL signers, parents of D/deaf ˆchildren, representatives from public bodies, and other stakeholders. The Plan sets out ten long-term goals and 70 practical actions for the promotion and support of BSL use in Scotland.

The National Plan covers the Scottish Government and 50 public bodies where Scottish Ministers hold responsibility. Other organisations, including local councils, NHS Boards, colleges and universities have published their own plans.

The publication of this Progress Report has been delayed by COVID-19. BSL has been embedded in the Scottish Government's reaction to the pandemic, for example in the presence of BSL interpreters at televised daily briefings. This has helped raise the profile of the language, and demonstrated commitment to its use.

*Wherever we refer to 'BSL users' we mean D/deaf and/or Deafblind people (those who receive the language in a tactile form due to sight loss), whose first or preferred language is British Sign Language.

ˆD/deaf is often used to inclusively refer to Deaf people who use sign language as their first or preferred language and deaf people who prefer to use English as their first or preferred language (via lip-reading or assistive technology)



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