TAYSIDE Police and Deaf Action (Tayside) last Monday launched a British Sign Language DVD packed with information about the force and aimed at enhancing access for BSL users to services provided by the police.
Deputy Chief Constable Gordon Scobbie hosted the launch and was joined at police headquarters by Liz Scott Gibson, chief executive of Deaf Action, George McGowan, development officer at Deaf Action (Tayside), and other invited guests.
British Sign Language (BSL) is the first and only language for many deaf people. The communication barriers faced by BSL users are significant and, at present, unlike other community languages that can be accessed by ‘phone, there is no widely available immediate access to interpreters.
Deputy Chief Constable Scobbie said: “We are always looking at new and better ways of making our information available and communicating with our diverse communities. As such, we recognised that the quality of service for BSL users needed to be improved.
“This resource is intended to remove barriers to access and promote equality for BSL users by giving them information about key services in a format they can make best use of.
“I would like to extend our thanks to Deaf Action (Tayside) for producing the DVD on our behalf and appreciation also to the Scottish Government for funding the project.”
The DVD, entitled ‘Tayside Police: Making A Difference for BSL Users’, contains a wealth of information about the force. This includes how to contact police for emergency and non-emergency matters, Crimestoppers, how the force will use BSL interpreters to assist with communication, the disability hate crime and remote reporting scheme, the role of community officers, how to make a complaint and other general details about Tayside Police.
BSL users can request a copy of the DVD by contacting Tayside Police or Deaf Action (Tayside) in the following way. Police, text relay/type talk - 18001 0300 111 2222; e-mail - firstname.lastname@example.org: Deaf Action (Tayside) - 07795 338231, voice and text.