British Sign Language Plan

BSL Plan Introduction

The University of Edinburgh welcomes the British Sign Language (Scotland) Act 2015 and shares the Government’s aim to make Scotland the best place for Deaf British Sign Language (BSL) users to work, study and visit.


The University has established a BSL Working Group to develop the first University plan and monitor its implementation which will report to the University Executive each October.

The University recognises that BSL is an endangered language used by approximately 12,500 Scottish deaf people and their families (Scotland’s Census, 2011) and approximately ten times that number across the whole of the UK. We acknowledge that our activities can do much to support the revival of the language as providers of excellent Higher Education, employment and cultural and scientific opportunities. We note that the BSL (Scotland) Act refers to BSL and also to the tactile form of BSL used by some deafblind people.

In drawing up the University of Edinburgh BSL plan we referred to the points in section (3) of the BSL (Scotland) Act, 2015. That is, we will consider to what extent we can carry out University functions using BSL, we will develop the use of BSL for University functions, we will take regard of any comments or representations about the use of BSL and listen to the guidance about the plans issued by the Scottish Ministers.