We have established a British Sign Language national advisory group, which will inform the development of the first BSL national plan. On Friday, we announced that the group will comprise nine Scottish public bodies that are subject to the 2015 act and 10 deaf people whose first language is BSL. An 11th BSL representative is a hearing parent of a deaf child. The group will meet six times in the next 18 months and the first BSL national plan will be published by October 2017.
I very much agree that parents are the most important people in a child’s life and that we need to support what they do. We are providing substantial funding for the National Deaf Children’s Society to deliver support to families with a deaf child, including teaching them family sign language so that they can communicate—it is often forgotten that communication can be a great difficulty for many families. As we announced last week, we have appointed deaf and hearing parents to the national advisory group.