Proposed actions to support commitments in the Scottish Government's British Sign Language National Plan have been put out to consultation by Scottish Courts & Tribunals Service (SCTS).

Public authorities are under a duty to publish their own proposals in support of the national plan, under the scheme in the British Sign Language (Scotland) Act 2015, with a deadline of 24 October 2018.

The SCTS proposals, covering the period from 2018 to 2024, involve:

  • consulting with British Sign Language (BSL) communities around Scotland in order to improve services and accessibility to employment in SCTS;
  • working with specialised providers to introduce video remote interpreting services, piloting these in some sheriff courts and working with local organisations in order to promote and evaluate their effectiveness prior to any further rollout;
  • improving the accessibility of its website by adding BSL/English interpretation and/or subtitles to existing guidance and information videos, including those available in relation to vulnerable witness special measures;
  • creating a bespoke web page dealing entirely with accessibility information and guidance;
  • promoting use of "contactSCOTLAND-BSL" via the website and raising awareness of the service among SCTS staff;
  • offering deaf/BSL awareness sessions and deaf awareness e-learning to all staff, making it mandatory for frontline staff on an annual basis.

Support will also be developed to enable BSL people to fulfil their civic duty in the justice system, with a study on enabling jury service already having taken place under Lord Matthews; and access to employment in SCTS for BSL users will be improved.

Click here to access the consultation, which includes videos. The deadline for responses, which can be in English or BSL, is 31 August 2018.