Committee Updates May 2015

British Sign Language (Scotland) Bill

The Equalities committee prepared a stage 1 brief to submit to all MSPs.  The committee is supportive of the policy intention of the Bill which is to promote the use and understanding of BSL.  In order to meet that obligation, under the terms of the Bill, a Scottish Minister will be responsible for publishing a National Plan for Scotland and local authorities will be required to publish their own ‘Authority Plans’, which must be consistent with the National Plan. 

The Society’s Equalities committee has some concern that the both the national and local authority plans may be interpreted as equalities issues, which is not the intent of the Bill, and to that end would suggest for greater clarity on what is expected from both local and national plans that would be distinct from existing obligations under the General Equality Duty. 

The full briefing is available  on our website