Action plans
Draft BSL
National Plan
2023 - 2029 - Draft Actions
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit.
Morbi volutpat libero quis nisi consectetur fringilla.

You can find the English version here , and the Easyread version here

Draft Key Priorities

This draft plan outlines six priority areas in:

Supporting Deaf Children, Young People and their Families;


The Scottish Government  recognises that language deprivation in deaf and deafblind children has an impact on their  crucial developmental learning in the ages between 0-5 years which can hinder their social,  cognitive, and emotional development.  

Social Care and Wellbeing


The Scottish Government recognises the importance of ensuring  that individuals are able to thrive in their daily lives, which includes accessing wellbeing  services and receiving the right care for their needs. For the BSL communities, this means  being able to receive support in BSL with an understanding of their culture as well as being  able to receive information in BSL. 

BSL Workforce


The Scottish Government recognises the ongoing issues surrounding the  shortages in BSL professions such as BSL/English interpreting and BSL tutors in Scotland. By  focusing on increasing the number of professionals in these fields, the strategy can help  alleviate the shortage and improve access to BSL services for the deaf communities in  Scotland.  

BSL Data Strategy


The Scottish Government recognises the need to develop a sustainable  model of obtaining evidence and data around BSL, which will help inform our work within the  current and future BSL National Plans.

BSL Accessibility


The Scottish Government recognises that the BSL communities are  underrepresented across organisations and services in Scotland. We want to promote and  develop sustainable approaches to ensure the most impactful work is being carried out to  ensure the level of BSL accessibility in Scotland are visible, high quality and widely available.

The Promotion of the Heritage and Culture of BSL


The Scottish Government recognises the rich BSL  culture that Scotland possesses and the ongoing projects in heritage, culture, and arts across  Scotland to represent and celebrate BSL. We are seeking views on how to grow this sector  which will bring a host of empowering benefits to the BSL community.  

Draft Actions

A Scottish Government Consultation

To respond to the consultation, please click the button below to go to the consultation page on Citizen Space. You can also find more information in BSL about the consultation process on our dedicated webpage.

There are a total of 27 Actions below.

Supporting deaf children, young people and their families

Action 1

Language acquisition for deaf and deafblind newborns and children to ensure they and their families have access to both BSL and English. This will help to ensure that deaf and deafblind babies and children are able to grow and thrive in an environment using the language of their choice.

Read More

The Scottish Government will investigate and explore an early intervention model for sign language acquisition for deaf and deafblind newborns and children to ensure they and their families have access to both BSL and English. This will help to ensure that deaf and deafblind babies and children are able to grow and thrive in an environment using the language of their choice.

Action 2

Investigate the provisions of support for deaf and deafblind children within Scotland, and identify any gaps in support to inform an immediate remedial action plan. This includes BSL tuition for deaf and deafblind children and their families.

Action 3

To investigate opportunities for early years workers to learn BSL up to the level of SCQF Level 6 to inform our future work in this area.

Action 4

Support the development of opportunities for deaf and deafblind children, young people, and their families, to learn about the heritage and culture of BSL, especially in Scotland.

Action 5


To establish a BSL Education Advisory Group to inform priorities around access to BSL and teaching of BSL, with initial focus on deaf and deafblind children.

Action 6


To work with the General Teaching Council Scotland (GTCS) to explore and facilitate pathways for BSL users to obtain Qualified Teacher Status.

Action 7


To investigate opportunities for Teachers of the Deaf and teachers working with deaf and deafblind children in obtaining qualifications for BSL up to SCQF Level 10. 

Social Care and Wellbeing

Action 8


To explore how the National Care Service co-design involves BSL users, and includes provisions for BSL users.

Action 9


Support Public Health Scotland in the development of guidance around BSL access, including use of BSL/English interpreting support in various formats.

BSL Workforce

Action 10


Investigate opportunities for deaf and deafblind young people to learn about transitioning into and navigating the workplace, support available to them, and skills development, including how to work with BSL/English interpreters.

Action 11


Work with Social Security Scotland to ensure that BSL users continue to provide input into their services in a way that is accessible to them.

Action 12


To explore how a BSL Workforce Strategy alongside a BSL Data Strategy, will consider pathways including, and not limited to, BSL/English interpreting and BSL tutors/teachers.

BSL Data Strategy

Action 13


To explore how a BSL Data Strategy for Scotland would work in practice, including establishing how we will gather data and evidence and distribute this in a way which helps develop sustainable approaches in data gathering around BSL.

BSL Accessibility

Action 14


To co-ordinate an effort with listed authorities and BSL/deaf communities within the BSL (Scotland) Act 2015 to establish sustainable approaches in the development and implementation of their BSL plans, ensuring that cost-effective work is taking place proportionately within their authorities to help their BSL plans target issues more effectively.

Action 15


To develop a classification framework around British Sign Language, identifying the multiple perspectives including accessibility and as a linguistic minority, and create a guidance in partnership with the See Hear strategy to provide more consistency in approaches to BSL.

Action 16


The Scottish Government will develop guidance on BSL access for public engagement, including quality assurance of BSL translations. 

Action 17


Review the BSL accessibility of the Scottish Government website, and work with BSL organisations to ensure a high standard of the accessibility of the website.

Action 18


To consider funding mechanisms for Contact Scotland BSL, and promote the use of this services across the public sector.

Action 19


To support the uptake of SignPort, an online portal for BSL/English interpreter bookings which will be launched for public use, within the Scottish Government and public bodies.

Action 20


The Scottish Government will develop an Implementation Working Group for the BSL National  Plan, with the aim of regularly reviewing the National Plan’s commitments to ensure it continues to meet the needs of the BSL communities in Scotland throughout the lifetime of this Plan.

Action 21


The BSL Justice Advisory Group will continue to meet, with the aim to regularly review the progress on actions within Justice around BSL and to mainstream BSL into other Justice workstreams.

Action 22


Explore the provision of BSL meditators/intermediaries, also known as intralingual professionals or advocates, for BSL users going through the justice system to inform work to be taken forward to support this provision.

Action 23


Support public bodies within the justice sector in exploring ways in which BSL support can be accessed more efficiently for frontline work and emergency response services. 

Action 24


To work with COSLA and the Scottish Parliament to identify existing barriers in support for BSL users within political settings, such as councillor or MSP, and consider ways in which gaps can be addressed, including learning from the 2022 Access to Elected Office Fund.

Action 25


Support the facilitation of BSL support in electoral campaigns and the election process to ensure BSL users are able to make informed decisions with access to all relevant information. 

Promotion of the heritage and culture of BSL

Action 26


To work with organisations focusing on BSL within culture and the arts to identify priorities within the BSL communities in Scotland.

Action 27


Explore existing support for organisations with a focus on heritage, culture and the arts – with  focus on BSL - across Scotland, to identify ways in which the Scottish Government can support growth for BSL in this sector, in line with the aims and ambitions of A Culture Strategy for Scotland

BSL Progress Report 2021 Scottish Government
St. Andrew's House, Regent Road, Edinburgh
0300 244 4000
Get in Touch YouTube Useful Links Colleges & Universities Facebook
Twitter @bslscotlandact2015
BSL (Scotland) Act 2015 Legislation The BSL National Plan 2023-2029 (PDF) Contact Us Resources Social Media Authority Plans The BSL National Plan 2023-2029 (PDF Easy Read)