The Scottish Government has funded a consortium of deaf organisations, led by the Scottish Council on Deafness (SCoD), to launch a project called “Equality & Access for Deaf People”. The project will work with public bodies to make their services accessible for all deaf people across Scotland.
The priorities will be to make sure British Sign Language (BSL) and linguistic access are at the forefront of public service delivery. This will achieved by 2 project officers working in partnership with deaf and deafblind people, the organisations which represent them, local authorities and national public bodies across the country.
All public bodies should already be accessible for all deaf people, as outlined by the Equality Act (2010), however this is often not the case. The project seeks to address this by working together to find sustainable methods which will increase the participation of deaf people in the services they use.
The project will look to complement existing strands of policy and service development. For example, the Scottish Government’s sensory impairment strategy and the proposed BSL bill.
Funding has been provided for an initial period until March 2015. We expect to see progress towards real equality for all deaf people within this time. The project will produce a final report which will make recommendations for continued improvements in access to public services.
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