果冻传媒

British Sign Language Action Plan 2024-2030

At QMU, we are highly committed to protecting and promoting British Sign Language (BSL). As a university which teaches BSL, we aspire to lead the way in terms of responding to the Scottish Government鈥檚 BSL (Scotland) Act 2015.

We aim to provide a BSL-friendly culture, building on:听

  1. Our experience of supporting BSL users as students and staff;
  2. The in-house expertise we have as providers of an MSc programme for registered BSL/English interpreters;
  3. Our ongoing work developing further opportunities for BSL awareness-raising at undergraduate and postgraduate levels, through the employment of a part-time lecturer who is a BSL user.听

Our BSL Action Plan

We are committed to an action plan, which is ambitious, responsive, builds on our progress and which is continually shaped by national initiatives, local needs and the priorities of BSL users. Our actions will be embedded into our Inclusive Learning and Teaching Materials Policy and feedback sought continually from students and staff through informal and formal mechanisms, including staff development and workshop sessions.

A BSL version of our Action Plan is available to view in the video below:

An English version of our BSL Action Plan is also detailed in the tabs below:

Introduction

This is the BSL Plan for 果冻传媒 (QMU), as required by the BSL (Scotland) Act. It sets out actions we will take over the period 2024-2030. It was initially published on 6th May 2024 and will be reviewed annually by the Equality and Diversity Committee.

At QMU, we are highly committed to protecting and promoting BSL. In our organisational structure, we have the Human Resources (HR) department and the Disability Service that work towards ensuring that BSL users at QMU are properly supported.

We have experience of supporting BSL users as students and staff on programmes within QMU. We are committed to building on this.

We are committed to an action plan, which is ambitious, responsive, builds on our progress and which is continually shaped by national initiatives, local needs and the priorities of BSL users. Our actions will be embedded into our Inclusive Learning and Teaching Materials Policy and feedback sought continually from students and staff through informal and formal mechanisms, including staff development and workshop sessions.

Overall responsibility for the implementation and reviewal of our BSL Action Plan lies with the Equality and Diversity Committee, and by extension, the University Court. The EDC is responsible to the University Court for the development of the strategic framework for equality in service provision and in employment across the University.

The Committee reports directly to the Court on its discussions, on the development of specific initiatives, and presents policies and procedures for Court approval. The Court is, as a matter of law, responsible for ensuring compliance with the Equality Act 2010 and for ensuring that the University meets its duties to the British Sign Language (Scotland) Act 2015.

Name and contact details of lead officer:

Paola Tisi, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Adviser, 果冻传媒 Edinburgh EH21 6UU, ptisi@qmu.ac.uk

Please note: Wherever we refer to 鈥楤SL users鈥 we mean D/deaf people whose first or preferred language is British Sign Language and/or Deafblind people (those who receive the language in a tactile form due to sight loss).

Update: BSL Action Plan 2018 鈥 2024

Whilst we believe we have made good progress on our 2018-2024 Action Plan, we have identified several areas for improvement which we have incorporated into this new plan, as detailed below.

In delivering our plan over the course of 2018-2024, we identified issues with the complexity and length of the original plan, making it unwieldy and not particularly user-friendly. To address this, we have taken a more streamlined and simplified approach to devising our 2024-2030 plan, which we have broken down into two key sections: 鈥楽tudying at QMU鈥 and 鈥榃orking at QMU鈥.

In addition, as our 2018 鈥 2024 plan did not identify 鈥榓ction owners鈥 for the actions within the plan, we have identified issues with determining responsibility and accountability for the commitments made in our former plan. We have addressed this within our new plan by identifying key responsible roles and teams for each individual action.

Over the course of its lifespan, overall responsibility for our 2018-2024 Plan sat with Student Services. We have since reflected that, as the Plan is wider than a student-only plan, responsibility for this newly developed plan will sit with the Equality and Diversity Committee, with the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Adviser as the lead contact.

BSL Action Plan 2024 - 2030

Where we describe the provision of interpreting services within the plan, we will endeavour to ensure interpreters are registered with a professional regulatory body, and have appropriate experience and skills to practice in the higher education domain.

Studying at QMU

Objective: Encourage BSL Users to study at QMU

Action Timescale Responsibility
1. Ensure that the tracking and monitoring processes for BSL use is robust, systematically analysed and reported on an annual basis. Ongoing; annually Registry; Head of Student Services
2. Ensure there is appropriate BSL medium information on our web site. Alongside this the Digital Marketing Manager ensures, as routine, that the QMU website meets accessibility standards more broadly.

Ongoing

EDI Adviser; Director of Marketing and Communications; Digital Marketing Manager
3. Provide accessible information about what BSL users can expect from the university Ongoing Disability Service; Digital Marketing Manager
4. Provide reasonable adjustments to student materials to incorporate BSL where appropriate for prospective students Ongoing Student Services; ADSC鈥檚; Programme Leaders
5. Analyse existing evidence on students and prospective students who use BSL in our University to identify and fill information gaps. Ongoing; annually

Head of Student Services; Registry

6. Provide BSL interpretation at open days, and information sessions for prospective students and their families as needed. Ongoing ALL: Head of Student Recruitment; Head of Marketing; Conference and Events Manager; Student Union
7. Support students who use BSL when they apply to the University and accept their place (including open days, completing application forms, interviews, applying for Disabled Students Allowance, induction week etc.). Ongoing Disability Service; Head of Student Services; Programme Staff
8. Provide a BSL Interpreter at interview. Ongoing Programme Leaders; Head of Student Services; Disability Service

9. Promote the use of the Scottish Government鈥檚 nationally funded BSL online interpreting video relay service called 鈥榗ontact SCOTLAND-BSL鈥 and support students to use the service.

Ongoing from 2024 Head of Student Services; Director of Marketing and Communications; Academic Staff

Objective: Support BSL Users' study at QMU

Action Timescale Responsibility
10. Provide assistance for students who use BSL with the completion of application for DSA funding each year; where relevant provide support to students to facilitate arrangements of interpreters with their DSA funding. Ongoing Head of Student Services; Disability Service
11. Ensure students who are BSL users have an ILP in place that sets out their reasonable adjustments and supports, including where required BSL/English interpreters for lectures.

Ongoing

Head of Student Services; Disability Service

12. Ensure students who are BSL users have access to all QMU support mechanisms for mental health and wellbeing.

Ongoing

Head of Student Services; Disability Service

13. Consider accessibility in the development of all teaching materials. Ongoing from 2024 Director of LEAD; Academic Staff; Programme Leaders
14. Include the needs of BSL users鈥 needs in the Inclusive Learning and Teaching Policy Ongoing from 2024 Assistant Secretary; Director of LEAD; Head of Student Services
15. Seek continual feedback from staff and students through both informal and formal mechanisms and implement findings. Ongoing from 2024

Academic Staff; Student Services

Objective: Promote awareness of BSL and the skills needed when engaging with BSL users

Action Timescale Responsibility
16. Continue to deliver specialist training for signed/spoken language interpreters through the MSc Advancing Practice in Signed/Spoken Language Interpreting programme and to associate students studying on individual modules. Ongoing SHS Staff
17. Embed the importance of BSL and how to work with BSL users within audiology and SLT programmes.

Ongoing

SHS Staff

18. Embed learning BSL and how to work with BSL users at programme level where possible.

Ongoing

Academic Staff; Programme Leaders

19. Ensure that student research conducted by, or involving, BSL users is ethically appropriate and follows guidance created by SHS staff. Ongoing from 2024 SHS Staff
20. Provide a 0/10-credit micro-credential course on Working with Sign Language Users and Interpreters, delivered fully online. Ongoing SHS Staff
21. Establish BSL classes that are available to the QMU Community. 2024/25 SHS Staff; Student Union

Objective: Support career development for BSL users

Action Timescale Responsibility

22. Provide appropriate advice to placement providers to ensure work placements in industry are supported appropriately.

Ongoing ADSC; Student Services; Placement coordinators
23. Support BSL users to explore what tools, equipment and support they may require in their future careers. Ongoing from 2024

Disability Service; Career Service; ADSC; Student Services

Objective: Improve the wider student experience

Action Timescale Responsibility
24. Improve inclusivity and BSL awareness in ResLife and SU for through signposting, interpreting and improved understanding. Ongoing from 2024 ResLife; Student Union

25. Provide interpreters for key events where the public are in attendance. For example, Open Days, Graduation.

Ongoing

Director of Marketing and Communications; Conference and Events Manager; Assistant Secretary (Registry)

26. Proactively encourage BSL user participation and representation on key university committees and working groups. Ongoing from 2024 EDI Adviser; Student Union; Conveners of Equality and Diversity Committee and Student Experience Committee

Working at QMU

Objective: Ensure staff are well trained and aware of their duties to BSL users

Action Timescale Responsibility
27. Provide staff with online material to develop their awareness around working with sign language users and interpreters. 2024/25 SHS Staff; HR Partners
28. Identify and advertise which members of staff are able to communicate in BSL and keep this information up to date. Ongoing from 2024 EDI Adviser; HR Data and Systems Partner

29. Provide guidance to staff from the disability service when needed

Ongoing from 2024 HR Partners; Health, Safety and Wellbeing Manager; SHS Staff; Disability Service
30. Embedding actions from the BSL Plan within Divisional Operational Plans. Ongoing from 2024

Deans

31. Consider the provision of BSL access for all conferences/seminars or events that are open to other staff or the public. Ongoing from 2024 Conference and Events Manager; All staff involved in organising events
32. Ensure that any research (conducted or supervised) that involves BSL users (as either participants or researchers) is ethically appropriate and follows guidance created by SHS staff. Ongoing from 2024 Research staff; RKEDU; Research Strategy Committee; Research Ethics Committee

Objective: Improve support to staff who are BSL users

Action Timescale Responsibility
33. Ensure that staff who are BSL users are properly supported and aware of the services available to them. Ongoing from 2024 HR Partners

34. Inform staff who are BSL users about how to access the support they need through Health and Safety and HR.

Ongoing from 2024

HR Partners; Health, Safety and Wellbeing Manager

35. Support BSL staff to obtain Access to Work support. Ongoing from 2024 HR Partners; Health, Safety and Wellbeing Manager

You may also be interested in our 'Welcome to QMU in British Sign Language' video below: