British Sign Language Plan

H. Culture, science, social science and the arts

We share the long-term goal for culture and the arts set out in the BSL National Plan, which is: “BSL users will have full access to the cultural life of Scotland, an equal opportunity to enjoy and contribute to culture and the arts, and are encouraged to share BSL and Deaf Culture with the people of Scotland.”

Action Timescale Action By Oversight responsibility
41. Support student-led societies, volunteering groups, and sports clubs in making their activities more inclusive of BSL users. By 2020/21 Students’ Association;  Edinburgh University Sports Union  (EUSU); Centre for Sport & Exercise; Accommodation, Catering and Events team with BSL Officer Deputy Secretary, Student Experience
42. We will ensure that ethics committees across the University include advice where appropriate from deaf BSL users internal or external to the University when the research involves working with deaf people, BSL users or has implications for deaf people. By 2019/20

Research Ethics & Integrity Review Group

with School Ethics Committee Convenors

Research Policy Group

43.  We will provide BSL translation and interpreting produced by qualified BSL /English interpreters or translators, for at least one University exhibition and scientific or cultural event each year. We will publicise the events using BSL clips on our website, information monitors, and through deaf community media.

From 2019/20

Head of Museums

with BSL Officer and Edinburgh Science Festival
Director of Library and University Collections

44.  We will support the lecture series Edsign organised jointly by the Universities of Edinburgh, Heriot Watt and Queen Margaret by providing live streaming, rooms and publicity for the lectures.

From 2018/19

Institute of Education, Teaching & Leadership

Multimedia team
Head of MHSES
45.  COL will incorporate plans to offer free BSL taster courses for University staff and students into its planning and course approval process across 2018-2019.  We will scope the provision of regular free lunchtime introductory sessions to BSL and deaf culture through the BSL Officer From 2019/20


with BSL Officer

Deputy Head of Short Courses (Languages for All)
46. The Students’ Association – including the student-led Tandem committee – will work with the University’s BSL Officer and BSL Tutor to investigate offering regular BSL cafes to enable students to improve their BSL skills in an informal setting. From 2019/20

Students’ Association Participation Officer

with BSL Officer, BSL Tutor and BSL Society

Deputy Secretary, Student Experience
47. We will explore the development of an accredited BSL poetry and storytelling course available for students with SCQF BSL level 6and above. This would be part of MA Primary Education with fluent BSL, open to other suitably qualified students or members of the public through professional learning. From 2022/23

Institute for Education, Teaching & Leadership (IETL) and

School of Education Professional Learning
Head of MHSES
48. Investigate the possibility of development of accredited BSL and deaf culture courses available to undergraduate students in Year one and two of their degrees, ensuring that BSL language, culture or linguistics lecturers are fluent in BSL and have appropriate cultural knowledge. From 2019/20

School of Literatures, Languages & Cultures (LLC)

with MHSES & COL
Head of School LL&C
49. Plan a guide for Colleges and Schools about how to organise academic conferences to include Deaf BSL-using academics. From 2019/20

Institute for Education, Teaching & Leadership (IETL) and SSC

Head of MHSES

50.  Develop merchandise at the University Visitor Centre which celebrates BSL as a language and the University’s connection with it.

From 2020/21 BSL Officer with Visitor Centre Manager Director of Communications and Marketing