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.

Celebrating BSL Culture

Culture can improve the life chances of all people at every stage in their life. In Scotland, culture can be an important element to help reduce poverty and mitigate its impacts.

However, not everyone is able to benefit from it equally and more needs be done to support equal opportunities to access, participate and develop a career in the cultural and creative sectors. We also recognise that BSL is enriched with its own culture and history, and it would not exist without deaf and deafblind people. Therefore, we recognise that BSL and deaf culture are intertwined.

Creative Scotland prioritise equality, diversity and inclusion within artistic and creative activities. They support a diverse range of creative people, communities, and activity, promoting an equality of opportunity to create, participate and engage.

Our long-term goal:

BSL users will have full access to the cultural life of Scotland, and equal opportunities to enjoy and contribute to culture and the arts, and are encouraged to share BSL and deaf culture with the people of Scotland.

We will:


Work with Creative Scotland to help embed BSL further within culture and the arts in Scotland.


Enable BSL users to take part in culture and the arts as participants, audience members and professionals.


Support BSL organisations to celebrate BSL culture and heritage to strengthen the community, share their rich and vibrant culture, and feel more widely valued within society.

We will explore opportunities for children and young people helping to foster greater visibility of deaf role models, the development of a secure sense of identity, and reduced loneliness and social isolation.


Identify ways in which the Scottish Government can further support growth for BSL in the heritage, culture and the arts sector, as well as promoting existing workstreams, in line with the aims and ambitions of A Culture Strategy for Scotland.



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