Deafblind Scotland Spring 2017 E-Newsletter
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Deafblind Scotland E-Newsletter
Introduction to the Draft British Sign Language (BSL) National Plan Consultation
Scottish Government’s Draft British Sign Language (BSL) National Plan is now open for consultation
As a result of the BSL (Scotland) Act 2015 there is a duty placed on National and Local Public Bodies to develop and deliver a National and Local plan.
The first stage in this process is the consultation on the DRAFT National Plan.
The Scottish Government has now opened consultation on the Draft British Sign Language (BSL) National Plan, it will run for the next three months until Wednesday 31 May 2017.
The National Plan covers the Scottish Government and over 50 national public bodies that Scottish Ministers have responsibility for. This BSL National Plan will run for the next six years until 2023.
To find out more, please go to the Scottish Government consultation website:
Scottish Government Consultation Facebook:
Deaf Sector Partnership Website:
Deaf Sector Partnership Facebook:
This is a public consultation and anyone can respond to it.
The Scottish Government will accept responses in BSL or in English.
If you have any questions about the BSL NAG or the DSP, please get in touch with Derek Todd, DSP Coordinator by email at
The new Learning and Development Centre on our “Field of Dreams” site is progressing every day. We are nearly there!   We were delighted to receive an additional £50,000 from The Robertson Trust, to be utilised within the building.

Over the years, in total, we have raised £962,000 from legacies, £647,000 from trusts, £251,000 from individuals, over £250,000 from various events and the sale of property will realise £312,000, in excess of £2.4 million, what a feat, Wow!

Well done to all of you for the part you played in raising these funds. We are truly grateful.  It has been an enormous challenge to make the building happen. We are busy fundraising for some activities and project which will happen from the new centre. It is anticipated that we will take possession of the building in its entirety by mid June 2017, hopefully soon thereafter we will host several open days for all to visit and become familiar with this national and Local resource.

Kiltwalk - Just Try It! for Deafblind Scotland in 2017!

We are thrilled to announce that we are taking part in the 2017 Kiltwalk events to raise vital funds for Deafblind Scotland.
There are four locations across Scotland to choose from, each location has three walk lengths a 6, 13 or 26 miles, there is a Kiltwalk for everyone.

Just Try it – Would you like a unique experience while walking?

On the shortest routes (6 miles), take a Wee Wander part of the way experiencing deafblindness. Just register for the wee wander and we will send you a kit which includes a blindfold, ear defenders and some helpful hints.
Make sure you do this with a friend or two who can help guide you, or you could take turns in this unique experience!

2017 Locations and dates

Glasgow – Sunday 30th April
Aberdeen – Sunday 4th June
Dundee– Sunday 20th August
Edinburgh – Sunday 17th September

Fancy joining us?
All you need to do it go to the Kiltwalk website

Connect to Welfare Rights project has received further funding for 2017/18. It is continuing to develop and is still successfully applying for varied benefits for both deafblind and visually impaired people including PIP, ESA and Attendance Allowance and has seen financial gains of more than £730,000 (over 24 months) for the people we have helped.
During this time of welfare reform and financial hardship we have assisted around 260 sensory impaired people to claim benefits that they were previously unaware they were entitled to.

The major change in benefits at the moment, for our membership, is the transition from DLA to PIP for under 65 age group. This is slowly taking place and we expect members to receive their letters over the next few months. We will then help individuals to complete their forms.

We have also compiled an Advice Directory. This includes; useful numbers in each local authority, help available to visually impaired or deafblind people and information on government benefits. We have started to distribute these and would be happy to send one to any organisation who may find it beneficial.
We continue to raise awareness.

Please contact Helen Campbell or Riley Bartholomew on 0141 777 5828 or with any queries, referrals or requests for Advice Directories.

Deafblind Scotland News
Training Courses

We provide customised training to meet your needs.
Training can take place at your business location, an alternative site of your choice or at our accredited Training Centre in Lenzie.

Training is delivered by our resident Training Officer, Stephen Joyce, who is himself deafblind, and deafblind facilitators. Email Stephen for more information.

Courses available include:

  • An Awareness of Deafblindness
  • Deafblind Awareness in a Care Home Setting
  • Hands-on Signing with Deafblind People
A History of Deafblindness

We have funding from The Heritage Lottery Fund to create a history of deafblindness in Scotland.

Radisson Blu Hotel Glasgow on Wednesday 29th March.

If you have been deaf or blind since you were a child and lost the second sense as an adult, come and tell us your story, and we will film it. The aim is to create awareness of the impact of deafblindness on schooling, employment, being a parent, life in general.

Interpreters will be available on the day, so BSL users are welcome, and a guide/communicator can be provided if needed. A representative from Deaf History Scotland will speak on the day.
If you would like to write a story rather than be filmed, please email it to Drena or send a copy to the office.
The Platform - Scotrail

ScotRail has launched 'The Platform' - an online panel that gives you the chance to have your say on how Scotland's railway is run. Once signed up, you will be invited to take part in studies across a range of subject areas of relevance to you.

Take part here.
Healthcare needs in schools

Scottish Government consultation on draft guidance on Healthcare Needs in Schools. The consultation will run until 24 Apr 2017 and is available here.
In The News

The emergencySMS service is an add on to the existing 999 and 18000 services that are available in the UK. Your SMS text message will be connected to 999 through the Text Relay 18000 service.

A relay assistant will speak your SMS message to the 999 advisor, their reply will be sent back to you as an SMS message.

If you send another SMS text message the relay assistant will read it to the 999 advisor and send their reply back to you.
You must register to use this service, more information available here.

Apple Accessibility Portal

Apple have created an online portal to allow users to explore and learn about the various accessibility functions available on products including; iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch and Mac.

Find out more here.
Free Digital Accessibility Online Course

Southampton University have launched a course entitled 'Digital Accessibility: Enabling Participation in the Information Society'.

This course will help you to understand how those with sensory, physical and cognitive impairments may be disabled by barriers encountered when using digital technologies. The course will highlight how the use of accessible and inclusive design can help overcome many of these difficulties.

Find out more here.

Deafblind Scotland aims to help people in Scotland live as rightful members of their own communities. Membership is free to anyone who has a severe degree of combined visual and auditory impairment resulting in problems with communication, information and mobility. To refer a person call 0141 777 6111 or email

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