2015: British Sign Language (Scotland) Bill passed unanimously
On Thursday 17 September 2015 the British Sign Language (BSL) (Scotland) Bill was passed unanimously by all Parties in the Chamber in the Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh.
This new Act will work towards improving the daily life of the Scottish Deaf population and could shake up where the Deaf community choose to call home.
BSL users in Scotland from the cradle to the grave will be greatly affected by the BSL (Scotland) Bill. This recognition of their first and preferred language will improve their access, inclusion and sense of belonging in Scotland. In terms of education, the younger generation of the Deaf community will now be entitled to equal opportunities, and therefore be able to cultivate similar beliefs about their future to their hearing peers which is a very important goal for BDA.
The BSL (Scotland) Bill will also positively impact quality of life in relation to health, the elderly, employment, leisure and arts. In terms of health, Deaf people will have better access to medical care, for example, hospital information leaflets will have to be translated into BSL. From a jobs and employment perspective, more Deaf people will be able to access work as BSL, and the use of BSL Interpreters, becomes more visible and more employers learn about relevant support programmes.
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Documentary. The Battle for BSL (BSL and English subtitles) looks at how BSL was first identified and how the language's status has developed since. Among other key events, it includes the BSL marches that led to BSL recognition in 2003, and the landmark BSL (Scotland) Bill which was passed in 2015. It is presented by Clark Denmark and features prominent Deaf people such as Lilian Lawson and Gerry Hughes.
This documentary was directed by Louis Neethling and was produced by AC2.com Productions.