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IMPORTANT: Calling all Scottish BSL Users

TIME TO TELL THE SCOTTISH PARLIAMENT WHAT YOU WANT!

Mark Griffin MSP proposed a BSL Bill in Scotland and did what is known as a “pre-legislative consultation”. He was then able to introduce the BSL (Scotland) Bill to the Scottish Parliament in October 2014.

This is now at Stage 1 of the formal parliamentary process. The Scottish Parliament’s Education and Culture Committee will now write a report on the draft bill.

To do this they have called for the public, especially BSL users, to provide evidence by 2 February 2015.

They have set up a BSL Facebook page for BSL users where you can post your evidence and comments: search for British Sign Language (Scotland) Bill” on Facebook.

If successful, the Bill will then go through Stage 2 (which involves line-by-line scrutiny of the Bill to tie up any legal loose ends). Finally, after that the Bill will go to Stage 3 (where it is debated as a whole by the Scottish Parliament).

We are now at Stage 1. Your views are very important at this point. It is vital to get the Bill right to protect and promote BSL for ourselves and for future generations.

If it goes ahead, the Bill will lead to an increase in public authorities using BSL and will help remove access barriers for Deaf BSL users.

This is first time in British political history that a British Sign Language Bill has been discussed in a parliamentary context.

Stephen Lloyd MP, the Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group in the UK government, told the BDA that London is now watching how the BSL Bill progresses in the Scottish Parliament.

Stephen Lloyd MP plans to take serious action in Westminster if the Scottish Parliament votes for the BSL Bill to become an Act, securing legal status for BSL in Scotland.

This is a very important time for the BDA and our community, as we have been campaigning for legal status for BSL for many decades, and especially since the UK Government's Department for Work and Pensions accepted that BSL was a real language in 2003.

We have shown this year in our report Legal Status for BSL that the Equality Act (2010) does not deliver BSL rights and has not been able to protect nor promote our British Sign Language. Therefore we implore you, British Deaf News readers, to do something that can make a real difference in your life time: support the BSL Bill (Scotland).
 

PLEASE ACT NOW!

The BDA Scotland urges:

BSL users - Please send your evidence by 2 February. If you are not sure how, please see this video for BSL Bill evidence guide - click here.

We have BDA Scotland staff here to support you to prepare and send evidence. This can be done in English or BSL.
 

DO YOU NEED HELP? CONTACT BDA - SCOTLAND:

Graham Duff: spo.scot@bda.org.uk

Avril Hepner: cado.sthscot@bda.org.uk
 

FREE MEMBERSHIP WITH BDA:

The BDA also wants you to sign up for FREE membership to the BDA for two years starting from January 2015. This will help the Scottish Parliament to see how many BSL users in Scotland support the Bill, and enable the BDA to keep you updated via e-news and campaign news - click here to sign up for FREE membership now.


Support the BSL (Scotland) Bill: ACT NOW!