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The lead organisation for deaf issues in Scotland

We represent organisations working with and on behalf of

  • Deaf Sign Language users
  • deafened
  • deafblind and
  • hard of hearing people.
Our membership provides an effective working partnership between the Voluntary Sector, Social Work and Education Departments, NHS Trusts, Health Boards and the Government.

BSL (Scotland) Bill Update

The Scottish Parliament held the debate on the motion S4M-13046, in the name of Mark Griffin, on the British Sign Language (Scotland) Bill and on S4M-13052, in the name of John Swinney, on the financial resolution to the British Sign Language (Scotland) Bill. At the end of the debate, the Chamber agreed without a vote:

    1. That the Parliament agrees to the general principles of the British Sign Language (Scotland) Bill.
    2. That the Parliament, for the purposes of any Act of the Scottish Parliament resulting from the British Sign Language  (Scotland) Bill, agrees to any expenditure of a kind referred to in Rule 9.12.3(b) of the Parliament’s Standing Orders arising in consequence of the Act.

To find out more, go to the Scottish Parliament website.

BSL (Scotland) Bill introduction

SCoD welcomes the Bill as it has been introduced. SCoD would like to continue to support Mark Griffin MSP in his work on this Bill and we congratulate him on getting the Bill to this point. The first responses to us from our members have been very positive and that the Bill is clear and concise. There may be small adjustments to be made – for example, for an increase in scrutiny that involves Deaf BSL users; a sentence that is more inclusive of Deafblind BSL users; detailed guidance for the plans; and for the BSL plans to be published in BSL.

We are waiting on an announcement from the Scottish Government on their position on the BSL Bill, which we hope will be positive. We have received several “statements of support” for the Bill from our members and look forward to receiving more comments.

Several of our members have asked for more information about the Bill and the papers that come with it. We have put together a number of FAQs – available here – that should make things clearer. We will continue to update these as the Bill progresses through the Committee stages.

The Scottish Parliament Education and Culture Committee has been given the role of gathering evidence to support the Bill and to analyse this evidence. The Committee has issued a call for evidence which closes on Monday 2nd February 2015. For more information, click here.

Scottish Parliament Education and Culture Committee

British Sign Language (Scotland) Bill – Evidence session with Mark Griffin MSP. The Committee held its first evidence session on the British Sign Language (Scotland) Bill on the 16th December 2014, and the video of the session is now available. It has audio, captions and a BSL translation. To view the video, go to the Scottish Parliament website.

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