Skip to main content
*** NOTE: Terms of Service Updated 21 Feb 2018 ***

Scotland: British Sign Language Bill Passed Unanimously

  • Published: 2015-09-19 : The British Deaf Association (BDA) (www.bda.org.uk).
  • Synopsis: British Sign Language (Scotland) Bill passed by all Parties in the Chamber in the Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh.

Main Document

Quote: "In terms of health, Deaf people will have better access to medical care, for example, hospital information leaflets will have to be translated into BSL."

New bill means British Deaf Sign Language users could migrate to Scotland to access better services.

The British Deaf Association (BDA) is delighted to acknowledge a historic landmark which occurred, which will work towards improving the daily life of the Scottish Deaf population and could shake up where the Deaf community choose to call home. On Thursday 17 September 2015 the British Sign Language (BSL) (Scotland) Bill was passed unanimously by all Parties in the Chamber in the Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh.

BSL users in Scotland from the cradle to the grave will be greatly affected by the BSL (Scotland) Bill. This recognition of their first and preferred language will improve their access, inclusion and sense of belonging in Scotland. In terms of education, the younger generation of the Deaf community will now be entitled to equal opportunities, and therefore be able to cultivate similar beliefs about their future to their hearing peers which is a very important goal for BDA.

The BSL (Scotland) Bill will also positively impact quality of life in relation to health, the elderly, employment, leisure and arts. In terms of health, Deaf people will have better access to medical care, for example, hospital information leaflets will have to be translated into BSL. From a jobs and employment perspective, more Deaf people will be able to access work as BSL, and the use of BSL Interpreters, becomes more visible and more employers learn about relevant support programs.

The BSL (Scotland) Bill, which was introduced by Mark Griffin MSP on the 29 October 2014, received support from MSPs, Deaf organizations and individuals across Scotland and importantly the Deaf Community. In four weeks, the Presiding Officer (Tricia Marwick MSP) will submit the Bill for Royal Assent and, once granted, it will become an Act of the Scottish Parliament. The Scottish Government and relevant public authorities will then be required to develop a BSL national plan setting out how they will improve access to information in British Sign Language (BSL).

BDA Scotland has been heavily involved with the process from the start when the organization was invited to respond to the Education and Culture committee panel in the Scottish Parliament in support of the Bill. The organization is delighted to see this Bill successfully passed in the Scottish Parliament.

"Today is a momentous day for the Scottish Deaf Community. The success of the BSL (Scotland) Bill is a wonderful achievement and we would like to give special thanks to Mark Griffin MSP, Hilary Third of the Scottish Government, the Scottish Parliament's Education and Culture Committee and everyone involved for their help. It is through this close collaboration and partnership that this momentous day has been made possible," said Avril Hepner, the BDA's Community Development Manager in Scotland.

"I am proud, as a Scottish person, to see my country leading the way in making the first ever BSL Act in the UK. We look forward to working with the Scottish Government to implement this and hope the rest of the UK follows suit," Avril continued.

BDA, a registered charity which has been a pioneer and champion of Deaf people since it was founded in 1890, is driven by two main aims: the promotion of British Sign Language (BSL) - which is a language in its own right, separate and distinct from spoken English - and the right to bi-lingual education in the United Kingdom. The organization's vision is one of Deaf Equality, Access and Freedom of Choice.

Learn More About British Deaf Association

The British Deaf Association (BDA), a registered charity in England, Wales and Scotland, was founded in 1890. BDA is the only Deaf-led organization that represents the Deaf community. Its two main aims are the promotion of BSL and the right to bi-lingual education

BDA stands for Deaf Equality, Access and Freedom of Choice and its work is focused on Deaf people being independent and able to make informed decisions. Deaf people can do anything a hearing person can - they just use a different language to do it. The charity champions the rights of Deaf people to use their first language - British Sign Language, which is a language in its own right, separate and distinct from spoken English.

BDA, which has been a pioneer and champion of Deaf people for 125 years, advocates a cultural model of Deafness where language acquisition, not speech, is paramount in determining the child's character and ability to function in our modern world. Deaf people have a rich cultural history, passionately embrace their identity and choose to use their first language - BSL.

Similar Topics

1 : Hearing Charities of America's Hearing Aid Project Changing Lives with Donor's Help : Hearing Charities of America.
2 : Brain Imaging Predicts Language Learning in Deaf Children : Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago.
3 : Sign Language Comparative List of Astronomical Words : International Astronomical Union.
4 : Sign Language May Offer Answer to Meaning of Music : New York University.
5 : Human Brain Tunes Into Visual Rhythms In Sign Language : University of Chicago.
From our Deaf Communication section - Full List (63 Items)

Submit disability news, coming events, as well as assistive technology product news and reviews.


Loan Information for low income singles, families, seniors and disabled. Includes home, vehicle and personal loans.


Famous People with Disabilities - Well known people with disabilities and conditions who contributed to society.


List of awareness ribbon colors and their meaning. Also see our calendar of awareness dates.


Blood Pressure Chart - What should your blood pressure be, and information on blood group types/compatibility.





1 : Free Eye Exams to Service and Working Animals in May from Veterinary Ophthalmologists
2 : Early Childhood Education Needs to be Accessible and Affordable
3 : How the Human Brain Can Tell Our Arms and Legs Apart
4 : Protein Levels in Spinal Fluid Correlate to Posture and Gait Difficulty in Parkinson's Disease

Citation


Disclaimer: This site does not employ and is not overseen by medical professionals. Content on Disabled World is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. See our Terms of Service for more information.

Reporting Errors: Disabled World is an independent website, your assistance in reporting outdated or inaccurate information is appreciated. If you find an error please let us know.