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We want British Sign Language (BSL) to be a language for everyone in Scotland.

Communication can happen in a range of ways. It includes spoken language. BSL is not just about language, it’s about both language and culture. Sign Language is a visual means of communicating using gestures, facial expression and body language. BSL has its own grammatical structure, dialects / variations and linguistic elements. It is not dependent nor is it strongly related to spoken English. BSL is used mainly by Deaf people but is used by others and could be beneficial and enjoyed by many more.

What does ‘BSL For All’ mean?

The British Sign Language (Scotland) Act 2015 was passed by the Scottish Parliament in 2015. The main reason for the Act is to promote the use of British Sign Language (BSL) in Scotland, and help people understand what BSL is as a language in its own right.

BSL For All means that BSL, as a language, should be available to everyone who wants to be able to use the language.

Who could that be?

It could be you – because:

  • you want to learn a new language; or
  • you know someone who is a BSL user and you want to be able to communicate with them without difficulty or help; or
  • someone in your family has had a baby who has little or no hearing and you want to be involved in their life; or
  • you are losing your hearing and want to be able to communicate in a different way.

Benefits of ‘BSL For All’:

  • BSL is for everyone. Baby Sign, Family Sign and BSL to be available for children, young people, family, friends, colleagues, neighbours, playgroups, nurseries and schools.
  • Capacity building. Developing, increasing and training more BSL Tutors and holding BSL conversation cafes in every Local Authority area.
  • Improve access and participation. BSL access to be provided and available at local, regional and national public events.
  • Increase training opportunities. Work with those businesses that deliver BSL training to provide BSL training in schools, communities and workplaces.
  • Upskilling BSL skills and improving promotion opportunities. Support and encourage individuals who use BSL personally or as part of their communication support, or other job to upgrade their skills in the workplace.

We need your support to make these things happen!

Support deafscotland in making Scotland the best place in the world for BSL users to learn, live, work and visit.

Download the First National BSL Summit Report