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.

Democratic Participation

The Christie Commission principles – a focus on people, performance, partnership and the prevention of harm – continue to shape the Public Service Reform agenda in Scotland. At the heart of this is the recognition that no single actor can achieve transformational change alone, and that people should be involved in and able to influence the decisions affecting them.

Ensuring that public services are delivering what people need to improve their lives and outcomes remains a vital driver of reform. There is broad acceptance that this means significant changes to the ways that policies and services are developed and implemented, with the role of partners, stakeholders and the people affected evermore vital.

Our long-term goal:

BSL users will be fully involved in democratic and public life in Scotland, as active and informed citizens, as voters, as elected politicians and as board members of our public bodies.

We will:


Develop participation as a key theme within this plan’s Implementation Advisory Group to deliver a set of resources that provide ongoing support for BSL users participation in democratic life.


Work with COSLA and the Scottish Parliament to identify existing barriers in support for BSL users within political settings, such as councillor or MSP, and consider ways in which gaps can be addressed, including learning from the 2022 Access to Elected Office Fund.


Facilitate BSL support in electoral campaigns and the election process to ensure BSL users can make informed decisions with access to all relevant information.



Back to top