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Mackay welcomes national British Sign Language plan

derek mackay MSP

Renfrewshire North & West MSP Derek Mackay has welcomed the unveiling of the Scottish Government’s national British Sign Language (BSL) plan. The action plan which aims to make Scotland the best place in the world for British Sign Language (BSL) users to live, work and visit was announced by the Scottish Government’s Minister for Childcare and Early Years on Tuesday (24th October).

The plan, the first of its type 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.


It 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


SNP MSP Derek Mackay said:


This plan is a welcome step in the Scottish Government’s long term ambition to bring about real positive change to the day to day lives of BSL users and put Scotland right up there as one of the best places in the world for Deaf people to live, work and visit.


“The Scottish Government have worked in partnership with BSL groups to ensure that the plan reflects the priorities of BSL users. I hope that the actions to be implemented can make a real practical impact to Renfrewshire’s Deaf community.”