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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
Employment

71 page PDF

985.8kB

Employment

Goals:

People who use BSL will be supported to develop the necessary skills to become valued members of the Scottish workforce and will have fair and equal access to employment opportunities, including apprenticeships, internships and employability programmes.

Steps to be taken by 2023 are:

25. Ensure fair and equal access to employment opportunities, including apprenticeships, internships and employability programmes.

26. Introduce in April 2018, a new Scottish employability programme. The key principle of this service is that all those who participate (including BSL users) will receive support to find and sustain work.

BSL users will be provided with support in the workplace to enable them to remain in and progress in their chosen career.

Steps to be taken by 2023 are:

27. Provide in-work support, of up to 12 months, for BSL users accessing any of our in-work support services.

28. In the new devolved employment services, we will expect those who deliver employment services to work with specialist employment support partners at a local and national level to help tackle the range of barriers that all participants face, including BSL users.

29. We will actively promote the Department for Work and Pensions' ( DWP) Access to Work ( ATW) scheme to employers and BSL users to ensure a higher uptake and use of the scheme in Scotland.

Question 13: Do you think these are the right steps under Employment?

In total, 102 people or groups answered Question 13. Of these 82% agreed that these are the right steps under Employment, 7% disagreed, and 11% said they did not know.

Question 14 - Please tell us why you think this.

Question 15 - If there are there any additional steps, or potential solutions that you think could be added to the Employment section, please tell us.

Around 100 people or groups made a written / BSL comment about Employment and it was discussed at around 40 events.

People said that many Deaf / Deafblind BSL users feel that they struggle to find and retain jobs and are anxious about declaring their need for support. They pointed out that employment is considered essential by many in providing income, self-worth and independence and that these are all important to leading a happy and fulfilling life. It was felt that there are lower expectations placed on Deaf / Deafblind BSL users and that basic support needs to be in place to level the playing field.

Support equal access to employment opportunities such as apprenticeships (Step 25)

Comments people or groups made about this step included:

  • It was suggested that issues in the employment world will decrease if the awareness and support is better in both the early years and education. This will help create confident and competent individuals who felt empowered.
  • It is important that Deaf / Deafblind BSL users can access the same opportunities in their chosen career. Opportunities should not be restricted by a lack of appropriate support.
  • Apprenticeship or intern programmes can last 2 years or more, however funding is stopped after 12 months. There is a concern that this will cause difficulties for Deaf / Deafblind BSL users to stay in work.

Suggestions made or ideas people or groups had included:

  • Information on training opportunities is confusing and a co-ordinated, centralised and fully translated system would be useful.
  • The support for Deaf / Deafblind BSL users at the Job Centre should be improved, with staff training on deaf awareness, BSL awareness and the availability of BSL / English interpreters. Opportunities can then be better understood.

Introduce a new programme to support BSL users to find and stay in work (Step 26)

Comments people or groups made about this step included:

  • The Scottish Employment Programme offers the chance to improve the under-employment of Deaf / Deafblind BSL users.
  • More information and detail would be appreciated on the content and purpose of this programme

Suggestions made or ideas people or groups had included:

  • The preparation for work should be incremental and start from school age. Joint working with schools could be strengthened.
  • The programme should include the need for Communication Support Workers ( CSW) but also the standards they should work to, their training and their behaviour in the workplace.
  • Consideration should be given to training for Human Resource Departments so the right support can be in place through the application, recruitment and employment process.

Provide 12 months of support for BSL users (Step 27)

Comments people or groups made about this step included:

  • Most respondents felt that 12 months of support is not enough. Job circumstances could change and some apprenticeship programmes can take 4 years.
  • Support needs to be person centred and as such will vary from individual to individual. Applying a single timeframe for support does not reflect this.
  • There are additional costs in increasing the level of support to more than 12 months, but this should be considered against the costs of a person being unemployed.

Suggestions made or ideas people or groups had included:

  • That length of support is determined based on individual circumstances, level of need and length of the employment or training programme

Employment services will work with specialist support to reduce difficulties BSL users face at work (Step 28)

Comments people or groups made about this step included:

  • Sufficient access is needed to interpreters with the appropriate skills and training to support Deaf / Deafblind BSL Users at work
  • Deaf / Deafblind BSL Users should be employed within these services to tackle cultural issues and provide advice as well as direct support.
  • Guidance should be developed for employers to help them to fully understand the support required for a Deaf / Deafblind BSL using employee, this will prevent unnecessary issues from occurring when in the job.
  • There are some concerns about the additional costs that employers may face in providing the right support to Deaf / Deafblind BSL users and whether they would find this affordable.

Suggestions made or ideas people or groups had included:

  • The support provided needs to be flexible and consider last minute meetings and out of hours working for example.
  • BSL / English interpreters are needed not just for work tasks but to support integration in the work place. Many Deaf / Deafblind BSL users felt isolated and excluded.
  • A translation hub could be set up to improve the information available to Deaf / Deafblind employees and support employers.

Promote the Department of Work and Pensions ( DWP) Access to Work ( ATW) Scheme (Step 29)

Comments people or groups made about this step included:

  • Many people agreed that closer working with the DWP would be a good thing and would help improve understanding and help shape the support available. The DWP is key to providing the right support and opportunities and a good relationship should be built between the DWP and specialist services.
  • Some people felt the Access to Work ( ATW) programme is difficult to understand and not as effective as it needs to be. The types of issues people talked about included the speed of response and ease of access.

Suggestions made or ideas people or groups had included:

  • The Access to Work ( ATW) Programme should cover volunteering opportunities and the current funding cap in place should be reviewed or removed.

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