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BSL (Scotland) Bill - Joint statement BDA-SCoD

13 January 2015

Text transcripts:

Many thanks to all of you that took the time to attend last night’s, BSL (Scotland) Bill, open meeting in Glasgow. Nearly 100 people were there with a further 200 viewing the event via the live streaming and social media. 

We would like to explain one particular matter that could minimise any misunderstanding about the Bill and its limitations. The audience last night was obviously passionate and wanted to share their stories, several relating to education and parents not getting enough positive support over BSL at home and in schools. It was noted that the Bill itself would not directly rectify this. However, it is important to understand the Bill and its relationship to the creation and monitoring of National and Authority Plans should it become an Act. We will explain the Plans more fully and separately, in English and BSL hopefully by the end of this week).

The Bill is a framework and sets the scene for a new understanding of BSL and the sort of future culture change we want to see in Scotland. It is the Plans that will deliver on the specifics. In the way that a wardrobe is a framework to hold our clothes. It is the clothes that are important to us and difficult to manage without the wardrobe!

BDA Scotland and SCoD are fully supportive of this approach and will continue to campaign and influence for better access to language and communication support for all deaf children so that they can have an education equal to that of their hearing peers.

By collecting all your comments and issues we will be in a strong position to influence both the content and the priorities in the plans.

To summarise.

We strongly suggest support for Mark Griffin MSP, the BSL (Scotland) Bill and work towards a positive outcome from negotiations on the Scottish Government’s suggested amendments. Simply getting the language recognised, with legal status, is the key to equality.

We must work together with patience and resilience and provide some clear evidence to influence the decision makers and politicians. We have to make sure they recognise that deaf children and young people should be fairly treated as equal and valued learners in wider society!

It is vital to us that you support the BSL (Scotland) Bill for a more positive future for all BSL users living in Scotland!


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