The British Sign Language and Linguistic Access Working Group (BSL&LAWG) has been convened and chaired by the Scottish Government since 2000. Its work comes under the remit of the Scottish Government’s Equality Unit. The Working Group consists of representatives from deaf organisations and Government officials. It enables the Government to discuss issues at the heart of linguistic access for deaf, deafblind and hard of hearing people. On its website there is a statement in BSL and English about Linguistic Access and Deaf People, as well as information about the work of the Group and issues affecting Deaf people. BSL&LAWG is a main partner organisation in BSL:UPTAKE.
The British Deaf Association (BDA) (http://bda.org.uk) is the largest Deaf organisation in the UK that is run by Deaf people. It represents the Sign Language community, which is united by shared experiences, history and, most importantly, by British Sign Language (BSL). There is a great deal of information on the BDA’s website, much of it in BSL as well as English. BDA Scotland has its own Committee (http://bda.org.uk/Scotland-i-59.html) and an office in Glasgow. The BDA is an advisory partner to BSL:UPTAKE.
The Scottish Association of Sign Language Interpreters (SASLI) (http://www.sasli.co.uk/index.php) aims to foster and enhance British Sign Language/English interpreting services in Scotland. SASLI maintains a register of Interpreters (http://www.sasli.co.uk/interpreters.php) and encourages the training of those wishing to develop interpreting skills, thereby improving communication between Deaf and hearing people as equally participating members of the community. SASLI’s website contains a lot of information not only about how to find an interpreter and other SASLI services, but about BSL and other issues relating to the Deaf community. Most of this information is in BSL as well as English. SASLI is an advisory partner to BSL:UPTAKE.
Deaf Action (www.deafaction.org) (formerly known as Edinburgh and East of Scotland Deaf Society) raises awareness of the needs and rights of deaf people, challenges discrimination, and provides services to promote independence and quality of life. Its Head Office is in Edinburgh, with other offices in Livingston and Inverness. Its services include a Communication Support Unit, Social Work, Specialist Equipment Services, Training & Development, Youth & Community Development, Supported Accommodation, Outreach Service and Social & Leisure Facilities. Its website contains useful information about Communication Support, Specialist Equipment, Training, and Advice, Care & Support, in BSL as well as English; and more sources of information in English, including newsletters.
The Scottish Council on Deafness (SCoD) – www.scod.org.uk - is the lead organisation for deaf issues in Scotland. It represents 90 organisations working with and on behalf of Deaf Sign Language users, deafened, deafblind and hard of hearing people. Its membership provides an effective working partnership between the Voluntary Sector, Social Work and Education Departments, NHS Trusts, Health Boards and the Government. SCoD’s website has a large amount of useful information, much of it in BSL as well as English. SCoD is an advisory partner to BSL:UPTAKE.
Deaf Connections (http://www.deafconnections.co.uk/) works with Deaf and Hard of Hearing people across the West of Scotland. It is based in Glasgow and provides a range of specialist services. Its website contains information about Deaf Connections and its services, some of it in BSL as well as English. There is a lot of other information in English, including research papers on issues such as Deaf people’s access to employment (http://www.deafconnections.co.uk/images/pdfs/accessing%20employment%20the%20challenges%20facing%20deaf%20people%20in%20glasgow.pdf) and The Mental Health Needs of Deaf Black Minority Ethnic People. (http://www.deafconnections.co.uk/images/pdfs/deaf%20bme%20mental%20health%20research.pdf)