A six-year campaign to enhance access to public services across Ayrshire for people using British Sign Language (BSL) is now underway.
The SNP Government wants Scotland to be the best place in the world for BSL users to live, learn, work and visit. This means that people whose first or preferred language is BSL will be fully involved in daily and public life, as active, healthy citizens, and will be able to make informed choices about every aspect of their lives.
The Ayrshire Shared BSL Local Plan 2018-24 is a partnership between Ayrshire College; East, North and South Ayrshire Councils; East, North and South Ayrshire Health and Social Care Partnerships; and NHS Ayrshire & Arran.
The Ayrshire Shared Plan sets out what partners will do to support Ayrshire’s BSL users, covering early years and education; training and work; health, mental health and wellbeing; transport; culture and the arts; justice and democracy. It describes the actions the eight partners will take between 2018-24, including:
Improving access to a wide range of information and public services in BSL
Investigating the level of BSL of teachers and support staff in schools
Enabling parents who use BSL to be fully involved in their child’s education
Improving the experience of students who use BSL, when they move from school to college, university, training and the world of work
Improving access to health care and mental health services in BSL
Removing obstacles to BSL users participating.
Helen Morgans-Wenhold, Local Authority Lead, British Deaf Association welcomed the move:
“The Ayrshire Shared BSL Plan places the region in a great position for promoting access and inclusion for Deaf BSL users. We congratulate Ayrshire for involving BSL users in all levels from the start to the end. We wish you great success for the next six years.”
Kenneth Gibson MSP added:
“With this positive news, the SNP Government is again showing its inclusivity, working in partnership to deliver for Ayrshire’s 900 BSL users to ensure both adults and children are fully able to participate in society and reach their full potential.”
Ayrshire Shared British Sign Language (BSL) Local Plan 2018-2024 is available here.