Consultations - Draft British Sign Language (BSL) Plan 2018-2024
ConsultationWe want to hear your views on the draft BSL Plan for Midlothian.
Closing date11 November 2018
The British Sign Language (BSL) National Plan 2017 – 2023 was published on 24 October 2017. It has ten long-term goals which were co-produced with BSL users across Scotland.
This National Plan and the resultant draft Plan for Midlothian is as required under the terms of the BSL (Scotland) Act 2015.
The draft BSL Plan for Midlothian reflects the ten long-term national goals, and sets out the actions the council will take from 2018 – 2024. This Plan also demonstrates how we will:
- Improve communication and access to services for people who use BSL in Midlothian
- Promote the use of and understanding of BSL across the county.
Midlothian has changed significantly in recent years. The county continues to have a growing population, including large numbers of young people, and a growing elderly population. We have also welcomed new communities including Syrian refugee families, and the needs of existing communities continue to become increasingly diverse. At the same time, the council’s budget is under pressure and the need to reduce costs and modernise the way we deliver our services has never been more important.
The Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015 brings new requirements for the council and its partners to work with the community, and ensure that everyone including BSL users can participate in local decision making.
This draft BSL plan sets out our commitment to tackling inequality and promoting inclusion of BSL users. We believe that we need to lead the way in planning and delivering services which meet the needs of our diverse communities and respond to the changes ahead.
Engagement and consultation
In developing the Midlothian BSL Plan, we have been very conscious of the views of Deaf and deafblind BSL users. We consider this essential in ensuring the final plan meets the needs of the Deaf and Deafblind community. We will consult and engage with these communities throughout the life of this plan.
To date in partnership with East Lothian Council, West Lothian Council, the City of Edinburgh Council, NHS Lothian, Scottish Fire & Rescue Service, Police Scotland and the Scottish Ambulance Service, we held an engagement/consultation event. We listened/heard through interpreters and in person the views and needs of the Deaf and Deafblind communities Lothian-wide. These views have been reflected in this draft plan.
In October we will be holding a further event for East Lothian and Midlothian residents, and with any more needs identified being built into this Plan. This is because we want the Midlothian BSL Plan to be a living document, regularly updated as more needs are identified.
As can be seen from above Midlothian Council is totally committed to continued engagement around:
- Implementing actions; and
- Providing feedback on progress.
As such, as and when we are aware of the changing needs of the Deaf and Deafblind community, we will update our BSL action plan. The council will contribute to the National progress report in 2020.
Short summary of the plan
Midlothian Council’s BSL Action Plan shares the long-term goal for all Scottish public services set out in the BSL National Plan. This long-term goal is that
‘the Scottish Government wants to make Scotland the best place in the world for BSL users to live, work and visit.’
Midlothian Council will do this by:
- Promoting the use of the Scottish Government’s nationally funded BSL online interpreting video relay services contactSCOTLAND-BSL to staff and to local BSL users;
- Increasing staff’s awareness, knowledge and understanding of Deaf culture, language and service provision;
- Working with BSL stakeholders to ensure and develop resources and information that are relevant and appropriate;
- Taking forward advice developed by Education Scotland to:
- Improve the way that teachers engage effectively with parents who use BSL, and;
- Ensure that parents who use BSL know how they can get further involved in their child’s education;
- Where the council provides a license within Midlothian enabling BSL users to take part in culture and the arts as participants, audience members and professionals; and
- Continuing to support BSL Users to participate in community engagement events
How to get involved
For more information on the draft Plan, contact:
Equality, Diversity & Human Rights Officer
Dalkeith EH22 IDN
0131 271 3658
Planning Officer - Physical Disabilities
Midlothian Health & Social Care Partnership
8 Lothian Road
Dalkeith EH22 3ZH
0131 271 3665
What happens next
We are going to hold a drop in event for residents of Midlothian and East Lothian at the Brunton Hall in Musselburgh in mid to late October.
If you have not commented yet on the draft Plan, both Midlothian Council and East Lothian Council would encourage you to attend. Details of this event will be advertised on both Council’s websites and through their social media channels as soon as possible.
The final draft Midlothian British Sign Language (BSL) Plan 2018 - 2024 will be published by 31 October 2018 in both BSL with English sub-titles and English. This Plan will go for noting to Midlothian Council on 13 November 2018.