Statement from the Scottish Government Regarding Tactile BSL

Scottish government logo

Statement from The Scottish Government - Wednesday 1 February 2017

Statement from Sarah Davidson, Director-General for Communities and co-chair the BSL NAG (National Advisory Group) on behalf of The Scottish Government regarding Tactile BSL.

“My name is Sarah Davidson, I am the Director-General for Communities in the Scottish Government, and co-chair the BSL NAG (National Advisory Group).

I am aware that there has been some discussion about the inclusion of Tactile BSL on the Facebook page. As the Scottish Government’s senior representative on the NAG, I want to set out clearly the position of Scottish Ministers. Section 5 of the BSL (Scotland) Act 2015 refers specifically to “the tactile form of British Sign Language used and understood by some Deafblind people”. The Scottish Parliament voted unanimously to include tactile BSL in the act.

Those of you who followed the passage of the Bill through the Scottish Parliament will know that Ministers made a number of commitments to ensuring that the needs of Deafblind people whose first or preferred language is BSL, were fully considered in the implementation of the legislation.

The NAG includes Deafblind representatives whose first language is BSL, one of whom has been my co-chair and their contribution has been immense.

As we work together to develop the first BSL National Plan, it is crucial that we understand the needs of people who can no longer receive BSL the usual way because of sight loss.

We need to do all we can to enable Deafblind BSL users to continue to communicate in BSL – for example through hands-on signing – so that they can remain part of the vibrant BSL communities in Scotland.”

SCoD Annual Conference Connect and Capitalise

scod conference logo 2017

Thursday 9 March 2017

Doubletree by Hilton, Glasgow

Maureen Watt MSP and Minister for Mental Health will be our keynote speaker.

Also speaking will be Yvonne Strachan CBE of the Scottish Government and Martyn Evans from the Carnegie UK Trust  –

* This year’s conference title “Connect and Capitalise” means that we are building on the connections and partnerships that have been made over the last three years and at our last two conferences. We all benefit or capitalise on these connections as we grow the Deaf Sector.

To book tickets for the Conference, go to Eventbrite by clicking here or by contacting



9.15am: Registration & Networking Opportunity

10.00am: Welcome 

10.10am: Keynote Speaker  – Minister for Mental Health Maureen Watt, MSP

10.30am: Keynote Speaker – Yvonne Strachan CBE, Head of Human Rights and Equality – Scottish Government

10.45am: Keynote Speaker – Martyn Evans –  Chief Executive, Carnegie UK Trust

11.00am: Comfort Break – Refreshments and Networking

11.45am: Workshop Session 1 – 3 workshops running at the same time.

Workshop 1: To be confirmed

Workshop 2: To be confirmed

Workshop 3: To be confirmed

12.45pm: Networking Lunch

1.45pm: Workshop Session 2 – 3 workshops running at the same time.

Workshop 1: Skills Development Scotland – facilitator to be confirmed

Workshop 2: Getting It Right For Every Child – facilitator to be confirmed

Workshop 3: To be confirmed

2.45pm: Afternoon refreshment break

3.00pm: Workshop Session 3 – 3 workshops running at the same time.

Workshop 1: Julie Carr/See Hear Assisted Communication Policy Team  –  facilitator to be confirmed

Workshop 2: Voluntary Action Scotland/Third Sector Interface

Workshop 3: To be confirmed 

4.00pm: Chair’s closing remarks

scod conference 2017

Job Advert British Sign Language Policy Officer

Scottish Governement


British Sign Language Policy Officer (15 hours per week, March – October 2017, Salary £34,919 pro rata)

The Equality Unit is seeking to recruit a part-time policy officer to support the consultation on the BSL draft National Plan, and to assist in finalising the BSL National Plan for publication. The post is for 15 hours per week and will run from 1 March until 31 October 2017. We are happy to consider flexible working arrangements.

We are looking for an enthusiastic and highly motivated bilingual person, with a high level of skill in both BSL and written English.

You will need to demonstrate that you have skills and experience in qualitative analysis, including the ability to organise and theme qualitative data.

You will also need to demonstrate that you have an understanding of policy making.

We particularly welcome applications from experienced Deaf candidates.

Specific tasks include:

– working alongside Scottish Government analysts to ensure that consultation responses submitted in BSL are accurately reflected in the analysis (this will include providing English summaries of BSL responses).

– working alongside Scottish Government policy officers to provide BSL expertise in the creation of the final BSL national plan – both in terms of content, and accessibility of the output.

You will be managed by Hilary Third, Equality Policy Manager, who has policy responsibility for co-ordinating the development of the first BSL National Plan. The team is located in Victoria Quay, Edinburgh.

If you are interested in the post, please email your CV and a supporting statement in English to by midnight on Friday 3 February 2017. Interviews will be held in BSL, on Friday 24 February 2017, in Edinburgh.

BSL (Scotland) Act 2015 Information Day


Are you still not clear about what the BSL (Scotland) Act 2015 is?

Deaf Sector Partnership (DSP) would like to invite YOU to an event which is being held at the National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh on Saturday 4th February, and it will be from 11am to 1pm. The focus of the event will look at the BSL (Scotland) Act 2015 and its importance for individuals whose first or preferred language is BSL. There will be opportunities to ask questions about the BSL (Scotland) Act 2015, and also find out what will be happening in the months to come. Sessions will be delivered, which will be split into separate sessions for adults and young people. BSL interpreters will be present on the day.

Free lunch will be provided and in the afternoon there will be an opportunity to have a look around the museum. The event is open to anyone whose first or preferred language is BSL – adults, parents of deaf children and young people from 10 years old upwards.

If you have any questions then please get in touch with

Field of Dreams First Look

Field of Dreams First Look

An exciting first look around the Field of Dreams building. Click the video below to take a look.

If you would like to help raise the final funds needed you can give through Just Giving here, or text “PICK05 £5″ or other amount to 70070.

For more information or to fundraise for Field of Dreams call 0141 777 7774 or email

Breathing Space 52 Weeks of Kindness


New Campaign from Breathing Space for 2017 – Kindness at home, at work and to ourselves

Everyone has experienced little acts of kindness. Whether it’s a warm smile from a stranger, a comforting hug from a friend, or unexpected praise from a colleague…they can make your day that little bit brighter.

Kindness can have positive effects on our relationships by reducing the emotional distance between two people. We like people who are kind to us. Positive relationships and kindness are at the very heart of our wellbeing. It is sometimes a lack of kindness which can lead to isolation and loneliness, many calls to Breathing Space testify to this.

Kindness and mental wellbeing

Acts of kindness can have benefits for givers as well as receivers. We’ve all experienced that warm fuzzy feeling you get when you’ve helped someone. There’s even a chemical reaction going on in our brains which explains this ‘elevated feeling’ which makes us feel good.

Research shows that helping others has benefits to our own mental and physical health. For instance, one study showed that performing acts of kindness may help people with social anxiety feel more positive*. Other studies have shown physical benefits through the production of hormones and other biochemicals which may have protective effects on the body such as lowering blood pressure.

Join the journey

Breathing Space have developed a calendar with suggestions for 52 acts of kindness for the year. Some ideas are very simple while others demand more effort, thought and work. You’ll also have your own ideas around the home and workplace, and indeed ways in which you can be kind to yourself.

Please take part in the conversation on twitter at #kindness52 and let us see some of the small steps we can all take on this kindness journey.

52 Weeks of Kindness Calendar PDF

52 weeks kindness

Deafblind National Advisory Group Information Days


Deafblind Scotland are hosting Information Days about the BSL (Scotland) Act 2015.
All Deafblind, Deaf Ushers and those whose first or preferred language is BSL are welcome to attend.

Interpreters, Hands-On BSL, Guide/Communicators are available.

Come along, meet, discuss, get involved, lunch will be provided.

Friday 20th January 2017 (Radisson Blu Hotel, Radisson Blu Hotel 301 Argyll St, Glasgow, G2 8DL) 10am – 3pm

Saturday 21st January 2017 (Perth Concert Hall Mill St, Perth, PH1 5HZ) 10am – 3pm

Please let us know if you are planning to attend.

Email: Phone: 0141 777 7774

Pick a Brick

Text Giving

Can you help us raise the final funds needed to complete the new Learning and Development Centre for Deafblind people in Scotland?

Pick a Brick for Deafblind Scotland

Text “PICK05 £5” to 70070

Charity Christmas Cards Now Available!

charity christmas cards

We have a festive selection of charity Christmas Cards this year, and every pack sold helps raise funds for the valuable work Deafblind Scotland does.

You can pick up your stock from our online shop here. Or pop into our office (21 Alexandra Avenue, Lenzie, G66 5BG) to browse the selection.


Deafblind Scotland 5 Year Plan 2016 – 2021

5 year plan

DEAFBLIND SCOTLAND FIVE YEAR PLAN 2016 – 2021                             

Vision: “A society in which deafblind people have the permanent support and recognition necessary to be equal citizens.

The headings for our priorities for the next five years will be:

  1. Accommodation
  1. Fundraising
  1. Legislation and guidance
  1. Deafblind Awareness
  1. Involving deafblind people
  1. Support services that increase independence
  1. Improving quality of life

To read the full plan click here.