The Scottish Parliament passed the historic BSL (Scotland) Act in September 2015. The Act lays the foundation for future improvements for deaf and Deafblind BSL users. The National Advisory Group (NAG) was set up to advise the government on the needs of the BSL community, including deafblind BSL users. The NAG will also drew up the BSL National Plan.
The NAG is a group of representatives from the deaf community who use BSL and representatives from key Public Bodies in Scotland. There are 21 people on the NAG. Between April 2016 and August 2017 they will have met 7 times and by October 2017 will produce the first BSL National Plan. This will go out to well over 100 Public Bodies who will then have to state how they allow access to their services to the BSL community, including deafblind people who use BSL.
There are 2 deafblind BSL using members of the NAG: Debra Wherrett and Leona Glennie.
There are several sub groups or mini-NAGS, one of which is the deafblind national advisory group, or DBNAG. This group is vital to relay important information to the 2 deafblind NAG members who can then feed the views of deafblind people into the NAG meetings.
The DBNAG meetings require to take place 2-3 weeks before the big NAG Meetings in order for the deafblind people to be consulted fully. Future DBNAG meetings and venues are to be arranged.
The DBNAG meetings are open to any deafblind people in Scotland whose first or preferred language is BSL. They do not need to be known to Deafblind Scotland. In fact it is hoped that other deafblind people who use BSL will become aware of the Project and will wish to become involved. There is BSL Interpreter support, including Tactile BSL support available as well as Guide/Communicator support available to attend meetings.
The BSL (Scotland) Act 2015 Questions and Answers are available by CLICKING HERE