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BSL (British Sign Language)

The Scottish Government wants to make Scotland the best place in the world for British sign language (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 in Scotland, as active, healthy citizens, and will be able to make informed choices about every aspect of their lives.

The BSL (Scotland) Act 2015 requires public bodies in Scotland to publish plans every six years, showing how they will promote and support BSL. This is our first BSL Local Plan developed in partnership with Ayrshire College, East, North and South Ayrshire Councils, East, North and South Ayrshire Health and Social Care Partnerships and NHS Ayrshire and Arran.

This BSL Local Plan mirrors the National BSL Plan's ten long-term goals:

  • Public Services
  • Family Support, Early Learning and Childcare
  • School Education
  • Post-School Education
  • Training, Work and Social Security
  • Health (including social care), Mental Health and Wellbeing
  • Transport
  • Culture and Arts
  • Justice
  • Democracy

The plan sets out what we will do to support BSL users in Ayrshire, 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 seven partners, mentioned previously, will take between 2018 and 2024 to make progress towards these goals, 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 in politics and public life, for example by promoting the Access to Elected Office Fund

* Wherever we refer to 'BSL users' we mean D/deaf and/or Deafblind people (those who receive the language in a tactile form due to sight loss) whose first or preferred language is British Sign Language.

Ayrshire shared British Sign Language local plan

Draft Ayrshire Shared BSL Local Plan 2018-2024 - Mid Term Report October 2021

A default plan (PDF) [1MB]  is available in English and final English/BSL versions will both be uploaded as soon as possible.

We have produced our plan in two versions, BSL and English, to make it easily accessible to all:

Watch our videos in british sign language