Midlothian Council agrees British Sign Language Plan

British Sign Language Plan for 2024-2030 approved by Councillors today 

The new British Sign Language (BSL) Plan for 2024-2030 sets outs how Midlothian Council will promote both the use and understanding of BSL throughout Midlothian.  

Equality of Access

In addition, the plan also sets out the actions Midlothian Council will take to provide local BSL users with equal access to support and services over the next six years. 

Aligns with National Plan

The plan aligns with the Scottish Government’s updated BSL National Plan 2023-2029.  

Consulting Midlothian's BSL community 

Midlothian Council’s BSL Plan 2024-2030 was developed following a consultation period with members of the local BSL community.  

Key Commitments

As part of the new plan, Midlothian Council has committed to delivering the following: 

  • Establishing a BSL User Group to enhance engagement with local BSL users. 

  • Providing information on key issues of importance to BSL users in BSL on the Midlothian Council website. 

  • Supporting opportunities for teachers and early years practitioners to learn BSL up to the level of Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF) Level 6. 

  • Supporting the development of opportunities for D/deaf and Deafblind children, young people, and their families, to learn about the heritage and culture of BSL. 

  • Signposting employer groups and partners delivering learning and employment services to specific advice on the needs of BSL users. 

Increasing Inclusion

Councillor Connor McManus, Equalities Champion for Midlothian Council, said: “The council is delighted to approve a BSL Plan for 2024-2030, which reaffirms our ongoing commitment to make Midlothian a more inclusive place for BSL users to live, work, study, and visit.  

Improving BSL Provision

“The new plan aims to build on the progress of the last six years under the previous plan. It will also address the additional issues that BSL users have told us are important to them, such as improving the level of BSL provision in schools and the creation of a local BSL User Group to enhance community engagement.”

7 May 2024