BSL (Scotland) Act and National Advisory Group

Update on Consultation BSL National Plan – March 2017

The BSL National Plan Consultation period has begun. It will last until Wednesday 31st May.

To respond online, please use the Scottish Government’s Consultation Hub, Citizen Space

Respond in BSL. If you want to respond in BSL you can use the following options:

Youtube or Vimeo Upload your videos and paste the website link into the Citizen Space consultation or into an email.

Facebook Post your videos on this public Facebook page

Other people will see your responses

Email Send an email with links to videos of your responses to

Post Send your responses in English or in BSL on a DVD or USB to:Hilary Third, The Equality Unit, Area 3H-North, Victoria Quay, Edinburgh, EH6 6QQ

There will be meetings around Scotland for deaf and deafblind BSL users.

Here are some of the dates and venues, there will be more dates added.




Glasgow Asian Deaf Club, Pollokshields Community Centre, 15 Kenmure St. Sat 18 March, 2pm

Forth Valley Sensory Centre Wed 22 March, 12.30pm

Lanarkshire Deaf Club Sat 25 March, 1pm

Deaf Connections Thurs 30 March,11am

There is also a meeting on Wednesday 29th March for deafblind people in the Radisson Blu, Glasgow, 10-3pm, where deafblind people can be filmed telling your story about being deafblind. It will be possible to use time in the afternoon to fill in the Consultation Questionnaire with support from Ken Hallsworth and a Guide/Communicator or an Interpreter.




Mothers & Toddlers, Motherwell Fri, 21 April at 1pm

Salmon Inn, Galashiels (Scottish Borders) Mon, 24 April at 6pm




Edinburgh BSL Coffee Meet Up, Waverley Station, Edinburgh Fri, 5 May at 7pm

Inverness & Moray (Elgin) Deaf Clubs, Spectrum Centre Inverness Sat, 6 May at 1.30pm

Deaf History Scotland, Greenock Sat, 6 May at 2pm

Fife Deaf Pub, Dunfermline Sat, 13 May at 7pm

Aberdeen Deaf Club Sat, 20 May at 7pm


It is important that as many deafblind people respond to the Consultation so that the Plan can hopefully benefit deafblind BSL users.

Let me know if you would like to attend, and if you require communication support. We can then find out what support is available for that meeting and let you know.

Ken Hallsworth, 01417775829, or Email:

Previous News

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.

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