City’s new plan for British Sign Language introduced at festive community event

Aberdeen City Council has introduced the city council’s first ever British Language (BSL) Plan.

The event, which took place at the Town House, was a festive get-together marking achievements so far in making Aberdeen a fairer city and featured Singing Hands who signed songs to an audience comprising some of the diverse communities from within the city.

The focal point of the event was the introduction of the new BSL plan which aims to improve learning and outcomes, services and access to services for BSL users while promoting the use of technology to enhance the digital skills and education of BSL users.

Aberdeen City Council Co Leader, Jenny Laing said: “Today has been a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the significant steps we are taking in ensuring that Aberdeen is a city where everyone can prosper.

“The BSL plan we have developed with our partners at Aberdeen Health and Social Care Partnership recognises the contribution that sign users make to the city and its economy. Importantly, we have enjoyed great support throughout the process from Deaf and DeafBlind community representatives and one of the cornerstones of the plan is to involve BSL users in improving services to those communities”.

Aberdeen Integration Joint Board chair Jonathan Passmore said: “The publication of this plan shows our commitment to protecting and supporting BSL. We are making sure that the needs of Deaf and Deafblind BSL users are brought into the heart of our organisations and given every opportunity to be actively involved as citizens.”

The BSL plan will cover the 2018-2024 period and reflects The British Sign Language (Scotland) Act 2015 which requires all public authorities to develop, publish and implement a local plan which mirrors the national plan published in October 2017.

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