East Lothian Council’s British Sign Language (BSL) Plan 2018-2024 was approved by elected members at Tuesday's (10 September) Cabinet meeting.

The new plan outlines how the council will improve communication and access to services for people who use BSL in East Lothian; and promote the use of and understanding of BSL across the county.

Following the publication of the Scottish Government’s national plan in 2017, local authorities were asked to produce their own plans reflecting the views of local stakeholders. East Lothian Council, together with neighbouring local authorities and community planning partners, engaged with the BSL and deaf communities and organisations who work to support deaf people and their families to develop the local plan. The feedback from these events have informed the development of the plan and related actions.

Council Leader, Willie Innes, said: “I am delighted that our BSL Plan is now available for local residents and groups to understand the views and needs of the deaf and deafblind communities. East Lothian Council has a strong commitment to tackling inequality across our communities and this plan details both practical support and our objectives to promote inclusion of BSL users, not just in our county but across the Lothians.”

“In addition to supporting service users and local residents East Lothian Council is also working to increase our staff’s awareness, knowledge and understanding of deaf culture, language and service provision. Through our services, staff are also working with BSL stakeholders to ensure and develop resources and information that are relevant and appropriate.”

East Lothian Council continues to welcome comment on the BSL Plan which has been published in BSL and English and can be accessed online at www.eastlothian.gov.uk/bslplan

Published: Tuesday, 10th September 2019