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9 December 2014

The Member’s Bill was introduced by Mark Griffin MSP on 29 October 2014

The Bill: In brief

The Bill seeks to increase awareness of BSL and improve the services available for Scotland’s Deaf and Deafblind population.

The Bill would require the Scottish Government to produce a national plan for BSL. Relevant public authorities would also have to develop their own plans, highlighting what they will do to increase awareness of the language within their organisations and across Scotland.

It has been widely supported within the Deaf and Deafblind community and received the support of 43 MSPs from all political parties to move it to Stage One proceedings.

1,192 people responded to the public consultation – the largest response to a proposed Member Bill in the history of Parliament.

WATCH: What the BSL Bill might mean in practice: http://bit.ly/Scottish-BSL-Act

Your views and comments are important
Please show your support for the Scottish BSL Bill now

The Scottish Parliament is now looking at the BSL Bill and for the first time, the Scottish Parliament is asking you, as a Deaf person, to say something. 

They have launched a BSL Facebook Group page - click here.

This is your one chance to influence the decision and make a difference. The Scottish Parliament is watching – make your signs (comments).

The British Deaf Association (BDA) Scotland welcomes and praises the Scottish Government in using a new way to consult with Deaf community, now through Facebook. 


So what does it mean?

BSL Deaf can, for the first time, contribute and participate as equal and valued citizens.

The BDA Scotland asks Scottish BSL users to provide evidence.  If you need support or guidance, please contact:-

Graham Duff: spo.scot@bda.org.uk
Avril Hepner: cado.sthscot@bda.org.uk


What are they asking for?

The Committee wants to know:

  1. Why is it important to make this new law, how will having BSL improve your life.  Give us good examples: education, employment, health and legal rights.
  2. Will the Bill make sure all public authorities increase their BSL information and help them respond to the demand for services in BSL.

    Question how realistic you think aim is and how do you believe the Bill can achieve this aim?
  3. The Commission wants and needs your evidence, so its important to respond to the Committee’s request. Have extra detailed questions.  If you would like to make a video or write something to the Committee please click the link "evidence webpage” - Visit: www.scottish.parliament.uk/BSL-Bill


How can you comment?

You can share your views via Facebook, including in BSL video.

Visit: BSL Facebook Group page - click here.

Please share the Facebook page, sign up to the Group, and start sending comments!


Tips on how to comment:

Answer the questions they've asked (have in BSL and English) about the Bill – They do not want history or personal experiences. Keep it clear and focused.

They’ve specifically asked for Scottish views – but even if you do not live in Scotland please comment. You can say this is great model and it would be good for all of the UK to do the same.

Keep it positive. The Bill is a fantastic opportunity to change the future of deaf people and children in the whole of the UK.

Encourage the UK Government here, must follow right thing at last!

DEADLINE: Please respond by 2 February 2015.