Our plan follows the BSL National Plan, published in October 2017, which was developed through extensive engagement with Deaf and Deafblind BSL users and those who work with them. The National Plan’s ambition is for Scotland to be the best place in the world for BSL users to live, work and visit.
Our plan supports the national overarching goal to make information and services across the public sector available to BSL users.
We are committed to promoting and supporting BSL, including in its tactile form.
We involved a group of organisations who represent BSL users when we were developing the actions in this plan.
We will continue to engage as we implement the actions, and we will provide updates on progress. This will include contributing to the national progress report in 2020.
If you have any questions about this plan, please contact us at the addresses below.
Post: Linsey Smith, Scottish Housing Regulator, 6th Floor, Buchanan House, 58 Port Dundas Road, Glasgow G4 0HF
British Sign Language (BSL) users can contact us via contactSCOTLAND-BSL
Our role is to regulate the housing and homelessness services provided by Scotland’s local authorities and Registered Social Landlords (RSLs).
Although we are not a direct service provider, we recognise how important it is that tenants, people who are homeless, other service users and others with an interest in our work can find out about what we do and contact us if they need to. Those who use BSL should be able to easily access information:
- about how we regulate;
- that we publish about their landlord; and
- about how they can take forward any concerns or queries they have in relation to a landlord’s services.
Our plan aims to achieve this.
We also recognise the important role that housing and homelessness services play in people’s lives, and the importance of all service users being able to access these services when they need them. So we will look at how we can promote BSL to the organisations that we regulate.
By June 2019, we will:
- improve access to our information for BSL users, including making our website more accessible to BSL users.
- promote the use of the Scottish Government’s nationally funded BSL online interpreting video relay services called ‘contactSCOTLAND-BSL’, which allows BSL users to contact public and third sector services and for these services to contact them. We will promote this as a way to contact us, and also promote it to social landlords as a way for them to engage with BSL users.
- train our staff on how to use ‘contactSCOTLAND-BSL’.
- carry out awareness raising with our staff on BSL, including in its tactile form, and our BSL Plan.
- ensure that we have access to registered BSL / English interpreters, recognising that face to face meetings can be the most appropriate way to engage with BSL users where a more in-depth discussion is required.
We launched a consultation on our future Regulatory Framework in October 2018, including the information that we require from landlords to enable us to monitor their progress against the Scottish Social Housing Charter. As part of this work, we will consider our approach to equalities information and any implications in relation to BSL users. We aim to put the new Regulatory Framework and Charter guidance in place during 2019. The following actions will then flow from this work.
By March 2020, we will:
• update our Equalities Statement, taking account of this Plan and any other considerations in relation to BSL.
By March 2023, we will:
• carry out thematic work to explore access to housing and homelessness services for BSL users.