Later on today, the British Sign Language (BSL) (Scotland) Bill will be going to Stage 3 in the Chamber in Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh. If passed, this will be an historic landmark, which will help to break down the barriers facing Scotland’s Deaf population on a daily basis.
The BSL (Scotland) Bill, which was introduced by Mark Griffin MSP on 29th October 2014, going on to receive support from MSPs, Deaf organisations and individuals across Scotland and importantly the Deaf Community.
In four weeks, the Presiding Officer (Tricia Marwick MSP) will submit the Bill for Royal Assent and, once granted, it will become an Act of the Scottish Parliament.
The Scottish Government and relevant public authorities will then be required to develop action plans on improving access to information in British Sign Language (BSL).
Avril Hepner, Community Development Manager (Scotland) for the BDA, said:
“The BSL (Scotland) Bill seeks to increase awareness of British Sign Language (BSL) and improve the services available for Scotland’s Deaf and Deaf blind population.
The BSL (Scotland) Bill is very important to BDA because we have been involved with the process from the start when BDA Scotland was invited to respond to the Education and Culture committee panel in Scottish Parliament in support of the Bill.
The BDA is led by Deaf BSL users and this is an excellent way for BSL to make history. BSL users in Scotland from the cradle to the grave will be greatly affected by the BSL (Scotland) Bill.
This recognition of their first and preferred language will improve their access, inclusion and sense of belonging in Scotland. The BSL (Scotland) Bill will positively impact quality of life in relation to education, health, the elderly, employment, leisure and arts.”
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