The British Sign Language (BSL) Bill has just been unanimously passed by MPs in the Scottish Parliament. This Bill aims to increase awareness of BSL and its use, in the delivery of services. It will be submitted for Royal Assent in 4 weeks and then become an Act of the Scottish Parliament.
So what does this mean for the Deaf Community in Scotland? The government and other public bodies will be required to develop a plan to show how they are going to implement the BSL Act. They will need to show that BSL users have full access to all their information and services in the language of BSL.
Labour MSP Mark Griffin, who introduced the Bill said:
‘77% of BSL users who visited hospitals could not easily communicate with NHS staff. It is that sense of abandonment and isolation, whether it be in a healthcare situation, in a school or in education, that I hope the passing of this legislation will address’.
So come on the rest of the UK, when are we going to get a similar BSL Bill passed? Lobby your MP NOW!
Our aim at Dot Sign Language is the same as that of the Scottish BSL Bill, to encourage much wider use of BSL and greater understanding of the issues that affect the Deaf community. So come along and learn BSL now!