The year of 2015 is approaching the end, Scotland is gearing herself up for the traditionally celebration of Hogmanay, a Scots word meaning the last day of the year.
We couldn’t let you say farewell to the year of 2015 without reminiscing of what has happened in 2015, it has been a year to remember for Scotland’s Deaf Community, a journey that has started more than a couple of hundred years ago but the turning point for Scotland’s Deaf Community was probably on May 12th 1999.
Perhaps it was a quirky piece of fate that Winnie Ewing opened the Scottish Parliament on May 12th 1999 with the infamous words – “The Scottish Parliament, adjourned on the 25th day of March in the year 1707, is hereby reconvened.” A few years later, Winnie Ewing went onto lobbying the Scottish Parliament for BSL in Scotland along with Cathie Craigie – Winnie Ewing and Cathie Craigie Joint Motion in the Scottish Parliament
The baton in the quest of recognising sign language as a language in Scotland has been passed from people onto people as the journey continues.
A huge thank you also must go to Mark Griffin, a MSP who took on the Scottish BSL baton by sponsoring a BSL Bill, and of course to countless of people who have had also played a part.
As we name things that have happened in 2015, it would have not been possible without a parliament in Scotland, and we hope that you will join us in giving the Scottish Parliament a wee toast at the bell.
Kicking off with our first highlight from 2015, it is an incredible easy decision because of the sheer amount of feedbacks from ordinary Deaf BSL users, it was an absolutely game changer as the power shifted towards to ordinary Deaf BSL users from Scotland, it could be argued that it could be a first time where they had a democratic view in the form of sign language in Scotland.
It was probably a world first; a parliament creating a Facebook group specifically for people using sign language which will go down in history.
More than 2,000 people had joined the Facebook group, and it is now closed but you are still able to view the group as it becomes a piece of Scottish Parliament’s history! – The Scottish Parliament’s BSL Bill Act Facebook Group
Stories from people ranged from heart-breaking to heart-warming, it became a modern version of a reality TV show unveiling in the very front of people’s eyes bringing home the harsh reality of being a Deaf person in the 21st Century.
There was happiness in that group when there was a story being shared, there was ideas being suggested and of course with people being Scots, there were a few disagreements but they were all united in their joy in seeing the BSL Bill reaching its destination in a modern Scottish Parliament.
Of course, the Facebook group was opened in late December 2014 but the majority of the interactions by Deaf BSL users took place in 2015, and it opened up a richness of Scottish signing to the world.
We hope you have enjoyed our first part of our 2015 highlights from Deaf Confederacy, and more are set to follow throughout the festive season!
Don’t miss out on the next part by subscribing to our newsletter via http://deafconfederacy.org/ at the bottom of the home page!
Meanwhile, Happy Christmas and a Guid New Year from us at Deaf Confederacy as we look forward to 2016.
© 2015, Toby Dawson. All rights reserved.