BSL (Scotland) Act and National Advisory Group

National Advisory Group (NAG) and DeafblindNAG Update – September 2016

Thank you to all the deafblind members who have participated in the DBNAGs and who gave their views on the 10 Aims and Ambitions of the BSL National Plan. We have sent you the BSL version of  the feedback from the last DBNAG in Perth on August 2nd on a DVD. We have also sent you the written version of this in your
preferred formats.

What happens next? The next step in the process is that the first Draft Guidance for the BSL National Plan will be circulated for consultation.  Deafblind Scotland will consult with DBNAG members and other BSL using members on this when it comes out. The next DBNAG will  be arranged soon after the draft Guidance is available. We look forward to working with DBNAG members on this next stage.

Previous News

The Scottish Parliament passed the historic BSL (Scotland) Act in September 2015. The Act will lay the foundation for future improvements for deaf and Deafblind BSL users. The Act means there will be the setting up of a National Advisory Group (NAG) which will produce the first BSL National Plan.

After the passing of the BSL Scotland Act in 2015 , 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 draw 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.
The NAG meetings are on:
Tuesday 31st May 2016
Monday 22nd August 2016
Tuesday 1st November 2016
Tuesday 31st January 2017
Tuesday 20th June 2017
Tuesday 29th August 2017

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.

If you know of a deafblind person who uses BSL and who may not be known to Deafblind Scotland please tell them about the DBNAG, and if interested contact:
Ken Hallsworth –

Check back regularly for the latest updates from the Deaf Sector Partnership.

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Deafblind National Advisory Group