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Our manifesto for the Scottish Elections 2021

Ahead of the Scottish Parliament Elections 2021, our manifesto sets out what we need from government and policy makers to make life fully inclusive for deaf people and those with hearing loss or tinnitus in Scotland.

Our manifesto sets out the main policy areas we want the next Scottish Government to address. These are:

  • Support and care
  • Employment
  • Information for all.

Why this is important

In Scotland, one in five adults are deaf or have hearing loss – an average of nearly 13,400 adults in each of the 73 Scottish Parliament constituencies. With an ageing population, this is set to increase.  In the UK, more than 40% of people over 50 years old are deaf or have hearing loss – rising to more than 70% of people over the age of 70.

What needs to change

Support and care

  • Improve access to audiology services and make sure more people benefit from  hearing aids   
  • Make sure that any reform of health and social care meets the cultural needs of the Deaf community and offers services, equipment and support to those with hearing loss
  • Make use of new and emerging technology so audiology services meet the needs of people with hearing loss and are ready for the challenge of an ageing society
  • Introduce a National Tinnitus Standard, detailing the full range of information and support options available for people in Scotland who have tinnitus.


  • Make sure all programmes aimed at helping disabled people into work, such as those within Fair Start Scotland Employment Programme, have specialist provision and are fully resourced to be accessible and supportive to deaf people and those with hearing loss or tinnitus
  • Establish a clear strategy to support deaf people and those with hearing loss or tinnitus to find and stay in work
  • Promote the Access to Work scheme to raise greater awareness among employers and employees of support available.

Information for all

  • Make sure that deaf people and those with hearing loss get the support they need to communicate well when using health and social care services
  • Support to increase the number of appropriately trained and registered Language Service Professionals
  • Make inclusive communication a priority for all Scottish Government directorates and their related public bodies
  • Commitment that all future Scottish Government press conferences regarding public health issues will have a BSL interpreter present.

Read the full manifesto document