Joint plan will help to engage with BSL users

Paul Whittaker, who is deaf,  performs one-man versions of every major stage musical at the Edinburgh Playhouse in sign language for those in the audience who are deaf.
Paul Whittaker, who is deaf, performs one-man versions of every major stage musical at the Edinburgh Playhouse in sign language for those in the audience who are deaf.

North and South Lanarkshire Councils have published a joint plan to make life easier for sign language users in years to come.

Working with Deafblind Scotland and NHS Lanarkshire, the councils have jointly developed the key actions to take by 2024, as required under new legislation from the Scottish Government.

This follows the publication of the BSL National Plan 2017-2023 last year.

Commitments made under the strategy include ensuring more children get to learn BSL at school, and helping BSL users participate in work, culture, community and democracy.

The draft plan is available from the councils’ websites as well as those of partnership agencies, and a BSL version is on YouTube.

It was discussed at a meeting of North Lanarkshire Council’s Youth, Communities and Equality sub-committee.

Councillor Jordan Linden and convener Frank McNally agreed that more could be done to ensure live translation services were available at council meetings.

Councillor McNally said it was “ridiculous” that when the Scottish Government debated the BSL Scotland Act there were no interpreters in the chamber.

Councillor Linden added: “North Lanarkshire should always seek to lead the way.”