Renfrewshire Council

Deafness and support for British Sign Language (BSL) speakers

Deafness and hearing loss, accessing services, British Sign Language (BSL) interpreting services.

Deafness and hearing loss

In Scotland, there are estimated to be 750,000 people who have some form of hearing loss.

The term 'hearing loss' relates to a range of conditions. It includes people with a mild condition who can communicate in English, possibly with the support of a hearing aid or amplified equipment. It also refers to profoundly deaf people who have been deaf since birth or deafened as a result of an accident or some traumatic incident.

There is a strong likelihood that profoundly deaf people will use British Sign Language (BSL) as their first language. BSL is a full rich language with its own structure and grammar. It is very different from English.

Accessing services

Research indicates that one of the most pressing issues facing deaf people is that of communication. The lack of access to accurate information due to breakdowns in communication can increase isolation.

Best practice suggests that deaf people should be able to access services in their own language.

BSL interpreting services

While we do not provide an interpreting service, we can contact interpreting services for clients and provide others with the information to be able to contact these services themselves.

You can also get in touch with Contact Scotland BSL who provide Scotland's national British Sign Language (BSL) video interpreting service.

We can also provide information a wide variety of training and further education opportunities for those who wish to learn more about deafness and different ways to communicate with deaf people.

You can also find resources on learning British Sign Language (BSL) on the British Sign Language (BSL) website.