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BSL Bill Evidence Guide - Supporting you to provide evidence

BSL Video No.1:
The Scottish Parliament's Education and Culture Committee is asking for your evidence to help them consider the BSL Bill. They require it either in writing or via BSL video. 

The BDA Scotland has compiled the following list of suggested areas that you may want to address when compiling your evidence: 

  1. BSL at home
  2. Access to Social and Health Care
  3. Further, Higher and Adult Education
  4. Public Providers – Councils and Police
  5. BSL Interpreters
  6. Deaf Children and Young People
  7. Deaf Parents of Hearing Children
  8. Hearing Parents of Deaf Children
  9. BSL Teaching
  10. Leisure, Arts and Culture
  11. Consultation for the Review of the BSL Act
  12. Scotland Leading the way for our BSL Future 

We hope that the above examples help you to think about the issues that you have encountered and report this to the Scottish Parliament’s Education and Culture Committee by 2nd February!

They want Scottish BSL users to give their own evidence but they would welcome non Scottish BSL users to give comments. 

  • Most important of all, what evidence do you strongly feel points towards the need for a new BSL law?  
  • Will a national plan for BSL make a real difference to your lives and those of other BSL users?
  • How important do you think it is that representatives of BSL users should be consulted?

The BDA Scotland is working with other organisations such as SCoD, SASLI, Deafblind Scotland, Deaf Action, Deaf Connection and NDCS Scotland. 

We want to encourage all BSL users in Scotland to give their evidence to the Committee. Please do visit them and ask for support or advice, or email BDA Scotland (bsl-events@bda.org.uk) or contact BDA Scotland staff Avril Hepner, Jean Pentland or Graham Duff for advice and support. 
 

 


BSL Video No.2:

1) BSL at Home
  • Do your family members have access to sustained, high quality BSL teaching at home?
  • Making sure deaf children are brought up in signing homes is a priority. Do you feel this is managed effectively?   

2) Access to Social and Health Care
  • Do you find your local health providers meet your needs as a BSL user?
  • For example, have you ever found that health care workers avoid talking directly to you? 
  • Have you ever found that family members are expected to act as unqualified unpaid interpreters by the NHS? 
  • Do older BSL users get the access to language and communication support that they need, for instance in care homes? 
  • Do you have a paid carer or community support worker with good BSL communication skills? 

3) Further, Higher and Adult Education
  • If you are a student, what are your experience of getting access to language, communication support and interpreters? 
  • For example, have you turned up to classes to find the interpreter is not there but the class has continued anyway? 
  • What difficulties have been caused when interpreters are not available for a last minute change to study sessions or classes?
  • Do you feel your teachers have good deaf awareness?
  • Do you get extra language support with written English when you need it?
  • Do you receive DSA? Has this made a big difference to you?

4) Public Providers – Councils and Police
  • Does your local authority meet your needs as a BSL user? 
  • If it does not what would you like to see your local council do?
  • If you have needed to contact the police have they been willing to provide an interpreter?
  • Do you any experience of different local authorities which shows how commitment to BSL varies? 

5) BSL Interpreters
  • Are there enough qualified BSL interpreters in your local area? 
  • Do you find agency costs make it more difficult to get interpreters?
  • What are your experiences with on-line interpreting? 

6) Deaf Children and Young People
  • Do you feel that your school should treat BSL and English as equal?
  • Do you have properly qualified language support at school?
  • Have you had adequate support to assist your education?
  • Have you had to manage without language support? What were the consequences?

7) Deaf Parents of Hearing Children
  • Does your children’s school book a BSL interpreter for you to attend parents’ evenings and school plays? 

8) Hearing Parents of Deaf Children
  • Has your local education authority been helpful or supportive to you for learning BSL? 
  • Have you ever received professional advice telling you NOT to learn or use BSL? 
  • Do you feel that your deaf child should have access to BSL and deaf adult role models? 

9) BSL Teaching
  • Are there enough qualified BSL teachers to run all the BSL courses that are needed? 
  • Do you have any evidence that colleges or training centres employ unqualified or unsuitable BSL teachers?

10) Leisure, Arts and Culture
  • Do you think BSL productions are supported enough in the arts and media?
  • Do you see any positive evidence that public funded venues provide good access to BSL users? 
  • Have you challenged them about why they don’t provide access? 

11) Consultation for the Review of the BSL Act
 
The draft Bill proposes a 4 yearly performance review. 
  • Why is it important that BSL users should be consulted?
  • How can the consultation process be run in a way that will reach BSL users effectively?
  • Would a consultation every 4 years be too intrusive if you were asked to participate?

12) Scotland Leading the way for our BSL Future 
 
 The Scottish parliament is the first in the UK to consider a BSL Bill  
  • How do you feel about this?
  • Could it be an example of good practice for the rest of the UK?

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