Deaf Action welcomes launch of British Sign Language National Plan
Yesterday we were honoured to be amongst partners and stakeholders in celebrating the launch of the first ever British Sign Language (BSL) National Plan in Scotland. The first for the UK and leading the way for sign languages all over the world. The National Plan aims to make Scotland the best place in the world for BSL users to live, work and visit.
Deaf people currently experience considerable disadvantages and are more likely to experience; ill-health, leave school with fewer qualifications and struggle to find employment as a result of a lack of linguistic access.The Plan aims to enable public bodies to set out how they are going to provide services and access to deaf people in BSL by the autumn of 2018 and meet the expectations set out in the British Sign Language (Scotland) Act 2015.
As the new Chief Executive at Deaf Action we look forward to working with Scotland’s public bodies to support the development of their BSL Plans and enable deaf people to have an equal and better future. This should lead to improved accessibility, organisations offering digital online content with BSL translation and a greater understanding of deaf culture in the wider community.
At Deaf Action we currently offer BSL Awareness training to local public bodies and a range of other resources including a high quality Multimedia service that helps organisations reach their deaf customers by ensuring all their information is available in BSL.
The Plan which also aims to offer more parents of deaf children access to learn BSL, has been welcomed by our Youth Service. A young deaf person Isla Gallagher stated:
“My mum, dad and I never got given the opportunity to learn sign language and I wish we did. So now it would mean a lot to me that young deaf people (partially or profoundly deaf) and families learn sign language so they don’t grow up without any knowledge of sign language”.
The plan will contribute towards the vision that deaf people will be wealthier, smarter, healthier, safer and stronger in Scotland, while promoting an indigenous language to all of Scotland’s citizens.
Deaf Action currently has a team of registered BSL Interpreters that work in a variety of settings. Combined, we have over 45 years of interpreting experience.
Deaf people rely strongly on facial expressions and seeing people's lips when lipreading, and we are concerned about the communication barriers wearing opaque masks can create.
Watch our CEO's interview with @STVNews below (from 19:11). #ClearMaskForAllplayer.stv.tv/episode/3y9c
From today, face masks will be mandatory in shops in Scotland, and we're concerned about what this means for deaf and hard of hearing people.
If you missed it, you can watch @PGerra talking about this on Reporting Scotland (from 08:00). #ClearMasksForAllbbc.co.uk/iplayer/episod…
Our CEO @PGerra will be on BBC News Scotland at 6:30pm this evening, talking about our #ClearMasksForAll campaign, ahead of face masks becoming mandatory in shops in Scotland from tomorrow.
You can catch it on BBC One Scotland and BBC One Scotland HD. 📺
We are grateful to @JBalfourMSP for calling for clear face masks for all NHS care workers in a question to @NicolaSturgeon this afternoon.
The FM recognised the importance of this issue, and gave an undertaking to ensure that @scotgov will act on points raised. #ClearMasksForAll
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*deaf includes people who are Deaf BSL users, deafened, deafblind and hard of hearing