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Sign language interpreter first for Moray

Press release   •   Jun 24, 2018 10:00 BST

A sign language interpreter will be used for the first time at a Scottish Council meeting.

The British Sign Language interpreter will translate the debate of Moray councillors as they discuss the council’s new plan for users of BSL.

In a first for any local authority in Scotland, the sign language translation will be captured on video using the council’s webcast system, which can be watched live from 9:30 on the day or afterwards on a PC or mobile phone. Once approved, the plan will bring the council into compliance with the BSL (Scotland) Act 2015. It will be debated by the council’s Communities Committee on Tuesday 26 June.

The council’s equal opportunities officer, Don Toonen, said: “Moray Council was the first in Scotland to webcast its meetings, so it’s great to break new ground in using the technology to reach minority groups too.

“We want to hear from BSL users, their families and people who work with them what they think of the plan.

“For example, have we missed actions that you think we should include? Are there things that we can make better? Let me know.”

Moray Council's new Vice Chair of its Communities Committee, Cllr Theresa Coull, is also the council's representative within North East Sensory Services.

She said: "As a mother of a deaf child I'm delighted that BSL will be used for the first time to translate the council meeting to the deaf and hard of hearing.

"This will be of huge benefit to those with hearing difficulties as this will now keep them updated with council matters. The deaf and hard of hearing have much to contribute to this area and should not feel that they are being left out. We really hope that they will contact us with their opinion of the service or any ideas they would like to share."

A link to the webcast will be posted on the council’s social media pages in advance of the meeting, and a hard copy of the BSL plan can be downloaded here

Hard copies of the draft will be available at local libraries, and two drop-in sessions will be held at the North East Sensory Services offices in Elgin on Wednesday 4 July from 19:00 to 21:00, and on Saturday 28 July from 13:00 to 16:00.

The offices are at Elizabeth House,

10 Victoria Crescent,

Elgin IV30

A BSL interpreter will also be at these events, and if additional support for tactile interpretation or other needs are required, visitors should contact Don Toonen on 01343 563321, or text/email at 07812969115/

Famous for its colony of dolphins, fabulous beaches and more malt whisky distilleries than any where else in Scotland, Moray is a thriving area and a great place to live. Nestling between Aberdeenshire and the Highlands, Moray stretches from Tomintoul in the south to the shores of the Moray Firth, from Keith in the east to Brodie Castle in the west.  

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