Highland Council agrees its first British Sign Language (BSL) Plan
The Highland Council’s Care, Learning and Housing Committee today agreed the authority’s first British Sign Language (BSL) Plan.
The plan reflects the goals of a National Scottish BSL plan published in 2017 and is a requirement of the BSL (Scotland) Act 2015.
Covering a six year period (2018-2024), the plan sets out the actions the Council will take to promote and support BSL in the area. Key aims of the plan are to better promote the use and understanding of BSL in Highland and to improve access to information and services for local BSL users.
To develop and inform the plan, Highland Council has worked with other local public bodies to gather views from local BSL users. Young BSL users in school fed in their views through a focus group carried out by the National Deaf Children’s Society and in BSL video clips. Following a period of consultation the final plan is now agreed and will be published on the Council website in both English and BSL (video clips).
Chair of the Council’s Care, Learning and Housing Committee, Cllr Andrew Baxter, said: "I am delighted that the Council’s first BSL plan has been agreed today. There is already much good work being carried out in Highland by our Deaf Education Service and elsewhere in the Council. This plan sets out how we can continue to build on our activities and to raise awareness of BSL as a language and the needs of Deaf and Deafblind people in Highland."