An action plan which aims to make Scotland the best place in the world for British Sign Language (BSL) users to live, work and visit has been unveiled.
The first BSL national plan to be produced anywhere in the UK sets out the Scottish Government’s ambition to ensure deaf and deafblind BSL users are fully involved in all aspects of daily and public life, from early years and education to culture and transportation.
The plan runs from 2017-2023, and describes 70 actions the Scottish Government will take in the next three years to make progress towards 10 long-term goals. In 2020, a progress report will be published detailing a further set of actions to be delivered by 2023. Future plans will be published every six years.
The plan describes a range of key actions to be implemented by 2020, including:
- Removing the barriers that prevent BSL users from becoming registered teachers
- Enabling more pupils to choose to learn BSL in school and developing Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) awards in BSL
- Guaranteeing all Scottish Government funded employment initiatives are fully accessible to BSL users
- Researching technological solutions to providing information in BSL in transport hubs such as train stations and airports
- Building the skills of qualified BSL interpreters to work in specialist settings like health, mental health and justice