British Sign Language (BSL): national plan 2023 to 2029

Sets out a range of government actions to tackle barriers faced by British Sign Language (BSL) users to help make Scotland the best place in the world for BSL users to live, work, visit and learn.

BSL Data

We recognise that there has been extensive work within academia and the third sector to build up evidence and data around BSL users, deaf and deafblind people, which is essential for informing public policy and shaping services to meet people’s needs.

To realise our ambition for BSL, we will strengthen our evidence on BSL users in Scotland. With robust data underpinning our approach to inclusive policy making, service design and delivery, we will help meet our vision for BSL in Scotland.

Our long-term goal:

To strengthen the evidence and data on the BSL community in Scotland to better inform decision making in public policy and service design.

We will:


Work with our BSL partners to map out existing sources of evidence available within their organisations and networks, understand the barriers to evidence gathering and agree on the specific and priority gaps in the current evidence base.


Gather data and intelligence from projects funded by Scottish Government’s Equality and Human Rights Fund and learn what principles can be applied to BSL users that advance equality in this area.


Develop and implement a strategic plan for BSL data, building on existing information and research, to set out how we will better understand the BSL community in Scotland relating to demographics and language use, as well as explore issues such as accessibility and access to services.



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