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Publication - Consultation Responses

British Sign Language (BSL) National Plan 2017-2023: analysis of consultation responses

Published: 23 Oct 2017
Part of:
Communities and third sector, Equality and rights
ISBN:
9781788512725

The report sets out the analysis of the public consultation on Scotland's draft British Sign Language (BSL) National Plan.

71 page PDF

985.8kB

71 page PDF

985.8kB

Contents
British Sign Language (BSL) National Plan 2017-2023: analysis of consultation responses
Culture, Leisure, Sport and the Arts

71 page PDF

985.8kB

Culture, Leisure, Sport and the Arts

Goal: BSL users will enjoy fair and inclusive access to Scotland's culture, leisure pursuits, sport and the arts and will have every opportunity to share their own Deaf culture with the people of Scotland.

Steps to be taken by 2023 are:

40. Encourage BSL users to take part in the culture, leisure, sport and the arts as participants, audience members and professionals.

41. Support professional pathways and advocate for BSL users to consider culture, leisure, sport or the arts as a potential career choice.

42. Encourage the integration of BSL in the performing arts and film.

43. Work with the bodies delivering culture, leisure, sport and the arts to ensure that websites are easy to access and inclusive for BSL users

44. Increase the number of public events and arts programmes that have BSL interpretation.

45. Work with Historic Environment Scotland to introduce British Sign Language tours in historic buildings in order to improve access for BSL users.

46. Work to ensure that everyone is empowered to access and participate in Scotland's culture. The new Cultural Strategy will be owned by the people of Scotland and will be co-created with artists, cultural producers and anyone else with an interest across the sector and beyond.

47. Work with sportscotland to provide information on their website about good practice when working with BSL users and increase awareness and understanding about BSL.

Question 22: Do you think these are the right steps under Culture, Leisure, Sport and the Arts?

In total, 84 people or groups answered Question 22. Of these 79% agreed that these are the right steps under Culture, Leisure, Sport and the Arts, 8% disagreed, and 13% said they did not know.

Question 23 - Please tell us why you think this:

Question 24 - If there are there any additional steps, or potential solutions that you think could be added to the Culture, Leisure, Sport and the Arts section, please tell us.

Around 80 people or groups made a written / BSL comment on Culture, Leisure, Sport and the Arts and it was discussed at around 35 events.

General comments included that, as under other key themes, there is a concern that Deafblind people could find themselves excluded without a guide/communicator. There are also some concerns about how this part of the Plan is set out, including that it lacks detail and a delivery plan. Concerns about funding were also mentioned.

There were a small number of comments about the importance of Scottish Sign Language, including that it has not been recognised by the Scottish Government. It was suggested that the BSL National Plan should include measures to protect Scottish Sign Language as distinct from British Sign Language.

Encourage BSL users to take part in the culture, leisure, sport and the arts as participants, audience members and professionals (Step 40)

Comments people or groups made about this step included:

  • Being able to access sports and leisure activities is important and can help improve physical and mental health. These types of activities also provide good opportunities to meet other Deaf / Deafblind BSL users.
  • Tackling barriers to participation should be the priority. For example, going to accessible cinema screenings or theatre performances can be difficult because of the limited times offered. There are often no BSL / English interpreters at sporting activities.
  • Evidence suggests Deaf BSL users are more interested in supporting Deaf-led work and activities than getting access to events in 'the hearing world'.
  • We need positive adult role models who are Deaf / Deafblind BSL users to encourage participation.
  • Increasing the number of BSL / English interpreters for the theatre would encourage more Deaf / Deafblind BSL users to attend.

Suggestions made or ideas people or groups had included:

  • Setting up a working or users group on Culture, Leisure, Sport and the Arts. There could also be a Cultural BSL Communications Officer who worked with professionals in culture, leisure, sports and the arts.
  • There could be an apprentice scheme for Deaf / Deafblind BSL users in cultural settings.
  • New-build cultural establishments should contact Deaf / Deafblind BSL organisations for advice about Deaf / Deafblind BSL access at the planning stages.
  • A national collection of BSL resources that only require minimal local alteration could be provided. This would avoid all listed authorities having to commission BSL clips on all services offered.
  • Cultural and sporting activities and events could be marketed via BSL videos / film clips.

Support BSL users to consider culture, leisure, sport or the arts as a potential career choice (Step 41)

Comments people or groups made about this step included:

  • It is not clear why this area is being singled out as a potential career choice and not some of the other areas mentioned under the Employment theme.
  • Ensuring better representation of Deaf BSL users on staff at all levels across the workforce, from customer facing posts to decision-making roles, would encourage others to consider a career in one of these sectors.

Suggestions made or ideas people or groups had included:

  • Working with the Scottish Employability Programme to include opportunities in cultural organisations.
  • BSL volunteers and staff should be encouraged to become BSL guides. If Deaf BSL users consider this as a potential career choice, they should be able to access training opportunities so that they can host BSL tours.

Encourage the integration of BSL in the performing arts and film (Step 42)

Comments people or groups made about this step included:

  • Should 'integration' be replaced by 'representation'?
  • In addition to integrating BSL in the performing arts and films, there should be more involvement of Deaf / Deafblind BSL users in films.
  • It would be better to have full Deaf theatre/Deaf plays/Deaf and BSL films.
  • Creative Scotland is supporting a project for a new BSL / English interpreter training programme in theatre. This will involve BSL / English interpreters in drama and performance training so they can be fully integrated into performances in arts and film.

Suggestions made or ideas people or groups had included:

  • Events such as the 'Deaffest' Deaf film and arts festival should be held in Scotland.

Ensure that websites are easy to access and inclusive for BSL users (Step 43)

Suggestions made or ideas people or groups had included:

  • BSL video clips should be on the home page of websites, to save navigating the website looking for BSL versions.

Work to increase the number of public events and arts programmes that have BSL interpretation (Step 44)

Comments people or groups made about this step included:

  • More events, for example at Edinburgh Fringe comedy festival, should be accessible for Deaf / Deafblind BSL users.
  • As local authority and school budgets are under pressure this might be challenging given the cost of providing BSL English/ interpreters for concerts and shows. Will the Scottish Government provide extra funding?
  • How will these events will be promoted? Suggestions included by email, SMS (text) or Twitter, on moving advertisements (for example at stations or bus stops), on a website or Facebook, at Deaf Centres and Clubs or through a magazine.

Suggestions made or ideas people or groups had included:

  • Make sure the BSL / English interpreters booked for these events have suitable background knowledge/experience.
  • Scottish Ministers should encourage the expansion of Deaf-centred programming, whether for terrestrial channels or community facilities. Local digital TV channels in Scotland should provide signing and subtitles on their programmes.
  • Television BSL content at peak times needs to become normal. National televised events should include BSL / English interpretation as should BBC Scotland news, drama and children's programmes. This will promote BSL widely.
  • Should some of the new resources going into BBC Scotland be directed to more BSL productions?

Work with Historic Environment Scotland to introduce British Sign Language tours in historic buildings in order to improve access for BSL users (Step 45)

Comments people or groups made about this step included:

  • It is not clear why Historic Environment Scotland has been singled out.
  • Tours should be led by Deaf volunteers or employees. Many Deaf / Deafblind BSL users already volunteer their time doing tours in BSL.

Suggestions made or ideas people or groups had included:

  • A national training programme for Deaf BSL users who want to work in historic places and other places of interest would allow them to be employed as tour guides.
  • Museums should have a portable tablet or device with BSL information on. Access should not be limited to devices or fixed displays/screens with BSL videos / film clips on the wall.
  • Other people suggested a barcode / QR code app to access information in BSL in museums. Deaf / Deafblind BSL users could also download BSL videos / film clips on their own computers or smart phones prior to visiting museums.
  • There should be an additional step that makes a commitment to work with or support Historic Environment Scotland to promote access to the wider historic environment, including historic places and information on the historic environment.

Work to ensure that everyone is empowered to access and participate in Scotland's culture. (Step 46)

Comments people or groups made about this step included:

  • 'Culture' can include heritage and the historic environment - this is how the word is being used in the Plan. However, Scotland's new 'Cultural Strategy' seems to use a narrower definition. It would be useful to refer to Scotland's Strategy for the Historic Environment – Our Place in Time as well.
  • Without action, Scottish Sign Language ( SSL) will be lost and this is part of a Scottish BSL user's culture.

Suggestions made or ideas people or groups had included:

  • Deaf history and culture should be included within the Cultural Strategy to encourage more people to engage with BSL.
  • Encouraging Deaf / Deafblind BSL users to develop BSL art and poetry and bring Deaf culture to the hearing world for them to appreciate.

Work with sportscotland to provide information on their website about good practice when working with BSL users and increase awareness and understanding about BSL (Step 47)

Comments people or groups made about this step included:

  • Everyone in the sports sector should be doing this. sportscotland should not be singled out. Other bodies where information could be shared include Scottish Student Sport and Scottish Disability Sport.
  • Lots of Deaf / Deafblind BSL users are put off participating in mainstream sport. Barriers include lack of access to coaching and no funding for interpreters. Interpreters should be available for sports lessons.
  • Deaf sports people have described difficulties communicating with sports bodies, including facing barriers when trying to start up new projects or applying for employment. Barriers also exist for a Deaf BSL user wanting to act as a referee.

Suggestions made or ideas people or groups had included:

  • This step should not just be about information online, it should include participation.
  • Sports coaches should be trained in BSL awareness. Staff in sport centres need BSL awareness training, as do referees.
  • There should be greater encouragement and financial support for Deaf / Deafblind BSL athletes. A programme of subsidy to boost Deaf sports in Scotland would form a popular part of the National Plan. A focus on community access to sport and activity would be helpful.
  • sportscotland could produce guidance for their members to improve their access for Deaf / Deafblind BSL users, both through employment and on a voluntary basis, at both local and national levels.

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