FAQs about the BSL National Advisory Group and the BSL National Plan
Are members of the NAG paid for their work?
No. But reasonable expenses will be covered, for example if people have to travel or stay overnight for meetings.
How will the NAG work with the Scottish Government and first or preferred language BSL users?
The NAG will be co-chaired by the Sarah Davidson of the Scottish Government Equality Unit and Debra Wherrett, a Deafblind BSL user.
It will meet five or six times over the first two years of the Act to provide expert advice to Scottish Ministers on the National Plan.
Deaf and Deafblind BSL users and the hearing parent of a Deaf child, whose first or preferred language is BSL, are being supported by the Deaf Sector Partnership to ensure that they are able to represent the views of a wider and more diverse range of people whose first or preferred language is BSL.
What can be covered in the National Plan?
The first “Aim and Ambitions” paper (can be read here) was circulated by the Deaf Sector Partnership for feedback from people whose first or preferred language is BSL. There will be another opportunity to give feedback on the revised “Aim and Ambitions” paper shortly.
The areas covered by the paper and what will be in the National Plan are:
- Early Years
- School Education
- Further or Higher Education
- Employment – apprenticeships, internships and employability programmes
- Health and Social Care
- Culture, Leisure, Sports and the Arts
- Public Services
- Representation in democracy.
What won’t be covered in the National Plan?
It is only areas covered by Scottish Government and the National Public Bodies that will be in the National Plan. So areas of life in Scotland that are not covered are:
- Faith – the buildings owned and used by faith groups are covered by Health and Safety and the Equality Act as are all buildings in Scotland. The organisational bodies attached to faith groups are not public bodies and so are not covered by the Act.
- Housing – social housing provided by local councils will be covered in the BSL Listed Authority Plans (the BSL Local Plans); private rented housing is not covered, but licensing of landlords and access to tribunal are covered in the justice ambitions of the National Plan as well as in the BSL Local Plans. Bought houses are not covered, but conveyancing by solicitors and access to information will be covered in other areas of the National Plan.
- Welfare Benefits – The Scotland Act 2016 devolves some welfare reform to Scotland. This is still in negotiation with the Westminster Government, but once it is made public, more information will be posted.