Sign language

The Scottish Parliament is to be congratulated on voting to pass the British Sign Language (Scotland) Bill into law on Thursday.

The passage of the bill marks a historic moment for deaf children, their families and the entire deaf community across Scotland, many of whom have British Sign Language as their first and preferred language.

As the first bill of its kind in the UK, it will aim to embed the language more fully into Scottish society and culture by ensuring public authorities promote and raise awareness of it.

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The National Deaf Children’s Society hopes this ground-breaking legislation will become a foundation for the promotion of the language in Scotland long into the future.

We strongly believe that if fully implemented the bill will ultimately help create more choices and opportunities for deaf children and young people and help them achieve their full potential.

The challenge is now for the Scottish Government to set out an ambitious national plan that will drive progress for deaf children and their families like closing the education attainment gap and strengthening early years support.

The National Deaf Children’s Society is committed to working in partnership across the sector to support the implementation of the bill in every way that we can.

Heather Gray

National Deaf Children’s Society (Scotland & 
Northern Ireland)

West Nile Street