A Cross Party Group on Deafness has approved a consultation paper on MSP Cathie Craigie`s proposed British Sign Language (BSL) Bill. While recognition of BSL is good, the language still has no standing in law.
The consultation, launched in July, is the first step in trying to ensure that the language has the same protection, status and rights as any other indigenous language in Scotland.
Cathie Craigie, Convenor of the Cross-Party Group, said: ‘I am pleased that the consultation period on my proposed BSL Bill has begun. It will give fellow politicians, community groups, public bodies, Deaf organisations and the general public a chance to scrutinise the proposals and give opinions on them.
‘British Sign Language is the first, or preferred, language of many Deaf people in Scotland, but it does not have equal status with English or Gaelic. I believe this has to change. This Bill would establish British Sign Language as one of Scotland`s official languages. It would provide a degree of equality to BSL users, create better awareness of BSL, promote it throughout Scottish heritage and permit it to be taught in schools.
‘Since Devolution 11 years ago, the Parliament has been at the forefront in seeking equal opportunities throughout Scotland. I am hoping that this Bill will provide accessibility, opportunity and fairness to all BSL users in Scotland and rid us of the existing inequality.’
The consultation will run until Friday 29 October 2010.
For more information about the consultation and how to respond, go to the Scottish Parliament website on the Proposals for Members Bills page at…
or contact Cathie Craigie by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
or Tel: 01236 825 372 or Fax 01236 820 556
You can also download a PDF copy of the consultation paper using the link on the homepage of
Colin Mackie, who has been a columnist with the LOCAL NEWS GLASGOW for several years will be running in the Glasgow10K road race on Sunday 5 September.
Over the years he has been writing about the Southern Necropolis, Oatlands and now British Sign Language (BSL) and the Deaf communities.
He said: ‘This being my 26th year taking part in the Glasgow event…(phew how time flies eh!), I would really appreciate any donations towards my chosen charity – the West of Scotland Deaf Children’s Society. They do a fantastic job.
‘My fundraising page can be found at… www.justgiving.com/colmacglasgowbsl
‘Here`s hoping for some good weather on the day and I`m sure there will be a fantastic turnout…just like last year. Thanks.’
See his websites:
The LOCAL NEWS GLASGOW celebrated moving into our new office at 142 West Nile Street, Glasgow, by having a party this week.
Columnist Colin Mackie who writes about British Sign Language (BSL) and his niece Nicole, who also signs for the deaf, took the chance to instruct LOCAL NEWS staff and guests in some finger spelling to show the letters of LOCAL NEWS GLASGOW.
See if you can spell out a word from this demonstration.
Photograph: Stuart Maxwell