Useful Links Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Nunc non pharetra orci, at eleifend neque. Aenean ac elit odio. Aenean mi enim, facilisis at ex et, pharetra pellentesque massa. Proin tincidunt, ex in maximus pretium

Useful Links

The Battle for BSL
Cheers for BSL
1 year anniversary of BSL (Scotland) Act 2015
2 years on from the BSL (Scotland) Act 2015
BSL (Scotland) Act 2015 - Key Points

Roles & Remits
British Deaf Association
Visit Facebook
Deaf Action
Visit Facebook
Deafblind Scotland
Visit Facebook
Visit Facebook

Name Information
Aberdeen Deaf Club / The Evergreens Club C/O NESS 21 John Street,
Aberdeen AB25 1BT

Phone: 0345 271 2345
Facebook: Aberdeen Deaf Club
Ayrshire Society for the Deaf 10 Clark Street,
Kilmarnock KA1 3AJ

167 Ayr Road,
Prestwick KD9 1TP

Facebook: Ayrshire Deaf Club
Caithness Deaf Club C/O The Sensory Centre
23 Telford Street
Wick KW1 5EQ

Phone: 01955 606170
Central Scotland Deaf Hub Queens Park Govanhill Parish Church
170 Queens Drive
Glasgow G42 8QZ

Phone: 0141 423 3654
Coatbridge Deaf Club C/O Deaf Service Lanarkshire
Unit 40 Foundation Business Centre
Ellis Street,
Coatbridge ML5 3AA

Phone: 01236 604808
Text: 07806497562

Facebook: Deaf Service Lanarkshire
Deaf Action 49/51 Albany Street,
Edinburgh EH1 3QY

Facebook: Deaf Action
Dundee Deaf Sports and Social Club C/O Tayside Deaf Hub
The Old Mill
23 Brown Street,
Dundee DD1 5EF

Phone 01382 201077
Falkirk BSL OAP Group / Falkirk Deaf Social Club C/O Forth Valley Sensory Centre
Redbrae Road,
Falkirk FK1 4DD

Phone: 01324 590888
Facebook: Forth Valley Sensory Centre
Glasgow Deaf Club (Social Recreation Club) St Francis Hall
Sandyfauld Street
Glasgow G5 0SE

Hamilton Deaf Afternoon Club C/O St John’s Church of Scotland
10-14 Duke Street,
Hamilton ML3 7HT

Phone: 01698 286868
Inverness Deaf Club Café 1668
86 Church St
Inverness IV1 1EP

Phone: 01463 238600
John Ross Memorial Deaf Church Queens Park Govanhill Parish Church
170 Queens Drive
Glasgow G42 8QZ
Kirkcaldy Deaf Social Club Wemyssfield House,
Lanarkshire Deaf Club C/O The Daisy Park Community Centre
105 Roman Road,
Motherwell ML1 1EA

Facebook: Lanarkshire Deaf Club
Moray Deaf Club C/O NESS
Elizabeth House
10 Victoria Crescent,
Elgin IV30 1RQ

Text: 07968 013951
Renfrewshire Deaf Group Spinners Gate Resource Centre
15 Maxwellton Road,
Paisley PA1 2RH
Scottish Ethnic Minority Deaf Charity Suite 421b,
The Pentagon Centre
36-38 Washington Street
G3 8AZ

Facebook: SEMDC
St Vincent’s Centre for the Deaf 144 West Regent Street,
Glasgow G2 2RQ

Facebook: St Vincent’s Centre for the Deaf
Stornoway Deaf Group C/O Western Isles Sensory Centre
Esplanade Court,
Stornoway HS1 2XA

Phone: 01851 701787
Tayside Deaf Hub C/O Deaf Links
The Old Mill
23 Brown Street,
Dundee DD1 5EF

Phone 01382 201077

Contact Scotland BSL: Scotland's National BSL Interpreting Video Relay Service
Scotland Police
Education Scotland’s BSL Toolkit
Scottish Fire and Rescue Services BSL resources

Scottish Parliament

BSL Facebook Group

7 Tips for Better Access to Scottish Public Services

Frequently Asked Questions

Around 12,500 people in Scotland (0.24 per cent of the population aged 3 years and over) indicated on the 2011 Scottish Census form that they used British Sign Language (BSL) at home – for every 10,000 people, 24 use BSL.

The 2022 census | Scotland's Census ( asks about BSL in more detail, asking:

Question no. 15: ‘Can you use British Sign Language (BSL)?’

Question no. 16: ‘What is your main language?’

The responses to these questions will provide more accurate figures on how many people in Scotland use BSL. However, it will take time to analyse the data gathered in the census; the results will be available at some point during 2023.


On 17th September 2015, the Scottish Parliament passed the British Sign Language (Scotland) Bill 2015. On 22nd October 2015, the Bill was enacted by Royal Assent to become the BSL (Scotland) Act 2015. The Act places a responsibility on listed public bodies to set out how they will promote the use and understanding of British Sign Language (BSL).

The BSL (Scotland) Act 2015 requires public bodies in Scotland to publish local plans every six years, i.e., 2018 – 2024, showing how they will promote and support BSL, in consultation with their local Deaf BSL communities.

For more information, please go to the website at

Plans must be made available in both BSL and English.


The BSL National Plan represents the Scottish Ministers' views on what should be done to promote BSL. The Scottish Government will be responsible for implementing the BSL National Plan. Other public bodies, including Local Authorities, regional NHS Boards, Colleges and Universities will publish their own local BSL plans. The BSL (Scotland) Act 2015 places a duty on the Scottish Ministers to publish a BSL National Plan every 6 years. The Scottish Government is responsible for carrying out the directions of the Scottish Ministers.

The current BSL National Plan sets out ten long-term goals for BSL in Scotland, covering:

  • Scottish Public Services
  • Family Support, Early Learning and Childcare
  • School Education
  • Post-School Education
  • Training, Work and Social Security
  • Health, Mental Health and Wellbeing
  • Transport
  • Culture and the Arts
  • Justice
  • Democracy

The BSL National Plan, which runs from 2017 to 2023, was developed with the active participation of Deaf and Deafblind BSL users who worked with public bodies as part of the BSL National Advisory Group (NAG), alongside open consultation and themed events. The plan describes 70 actions Scottish Ministers will take by 2023 to make progress towards these goals.

New plans will be published every 6 years and will be shaped by the views of BSL users and other national initiatives.

You can view the current National Plan here:


The BSL (Scotland) Act 2015 requires public bodies in Scotland, including Local Authorities, regional NHS Boards, Colleges and Universities, to publish plans every six years, i.e., 2018 – 2024, stating how they will promote and support BSL in their area. These BSL Authority Plans should consider the needs of local BSL users, and as such there will be variations across Plans.

You can view BSL Authority Plans here:

The BSL Progress Report outlines the work completed on actions laid out in the relevant BSL National Plan, and Scottish Ministers have a duty to publish a Progress Report within the three years after the publication of a BSL National Plan.

The first BSL Progress Report was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and was submitted to the Scottish Parliament four years after the first BSL National Plan was published.

A national progress report was published in 2021, with updates on the 70 actions laid out in the BSL National Plan 2017 – 2023.

The report will track progress in each action and identify good practice examples and areas to improve upon.

You can view the latest BSL Progress Report published by the Scottish Government here: BSL Progress Report 2021 (

See the summary reports prepared to support the BSL Progress Report in 2020:


  • British Sign Language (Scotland) Act 2015 (
  • Audit Scotland.
  • The Commissioner for Children and Young People in Scotland.
  • The Commissioner for Ethical Standards in Public Life in Scotland.
  • A council constituted under section 2 of the Local Government etc. (Scotland) Act 1994.
  • A Health Board constituted under section 2(1)(a) of the National Health Service (Scotland) Act 1978.
  • The Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator.
  • The Police Investigations and Review Commissioner.
  • A body which is a “post-16 education body” for the purposes of the Further and Higher Education (Scotland) Act 2005.
  • The Scottish Commission for Human Rights.
  • The Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service.
  • The Scottish Housing Regulator.
  • The Scottish Information Commissioner.
  • The Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body.
  • The Scottish Public Services Ombudsman.
  • The Standards Commission for Scotland.


The website was set up in 2018 and is administrated by British Deaf Association (BDA) Scotland to provide public bodies and the Scottish BSL community with Scottish Government information, resources and guidance related to the BSL (Scotland) Act 2015. It includes Summaries of Progress Reports from other BSL partners, a History of BSL in Scotland, a Landscape Review, Our Works, a News Archive and Useful Links (Media, Deaf Clubs/Centres, Scottish Parliament), as well as other useful information.

Each council and NHS Board has its own complaints policy and procedures.  Please see a list of links for complaints and compliments contacts for all Councils and NHS Boards:

Local Authority Plans – BSL Scotland Act 2015 (click the ‘Contacts’ section)

If you have any issues with accessing these procedures, you could contact BDA Scotland’s BSL Helpline for assistance.


Those who do not sign BSL and who are seeking to share information, meet or engage with people who have BSL as their first language should commission the services of a BSL/English interpreter.

You can book BSL/English interpreters by checking the regulatory bodies’ portals, then emailing or phoning them directly.

Many BSL/English interpreters work as freelance sole traders. Some have their own websites, and all are locatable on SRLPDC and/or NRCPD registration lists.

Scottish Register | SRLPDC (

BSL/English interpreters can also be booked through an interpreting agency.


The Scottish Government funds the Contact Scotland BSL Video Relay Service (VRS), which enables Deaf and Deafblind BSL users to place telephone calls via BSL/English interpreters.

This service, provided by Sign Language Interactions (SLI), offers BSL users the means to communicate in real-time with the Scottish public services, private sector and third sector organisations as well as family and friends - 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

The service is also accessible to Deafblind BSL users, by making use of Braille displays and speech synthesizers.

See for details. Contact Scotland BSL can also provide training for your staff and Deaf BSL signers on how to use the service.

Deaf BSL users may attend local Deaf clubs, centres and groups to socialise and share information in BSL. A list of contacts for local Deaf clubs, centres and groups can be found at:

However, not all Deaf BSL users attend the above. Please contact BDA Scotland if you would like some support in reaching out to your local Deaf BSL users.


British Deaf Association (BDA) Scotland are funded by the Scottish Government to ensure that Deaf BSL users are fully included in the development and implementation of BSL National and Local BSL Authority Plans.

Whether you are a Deaf BSL user who wants to be involved, a colleague who works with Deaf BSL users or someone responsible for developing and implementing your BSL Authority Plan, you can be sure of BDA Scotland’s support.

We will:

  • Provide consultancy, advice, and guidance about how to meet the obligations set out in the Act;
  • Facilitate and support consultations and open meetings with Deaf BSL users;
  • Create opportunities for local Deaf BSL users to engage and become involved with developing plans;
  • Work with you to promote plans to implement the Act; and
  • Use our social media networks to raise awareness of the BSL (Scotland) Act 2015, your local BSL Authority plan and support the participation and engagement of Deaf BSL users.

BDA Scotland also provides support for both the BSL community and for Local Authorities, NHS Boards, NHS 24 and other public bodies in Scotland in the following ways:

  • Building bridges for direct engagement
  • Providing empowerment training
  • Setting up BSL forums
  • Providing a BSL helpline

BDA Scotland signposts to appropriate services and support via our BSL Helpline. This service gives Deaf BSL users the opportunity to seek information and resolve issues independently. Please contact the office for more information:

BSL Progress Report 2021 Scottish Government
St. Andrew's House, Regent Road, Edinburgh
0300 244 4000
Get in Touch YouTube Useful Links Colleges & Universities Facebook
Twitter @bslscotlandact2015
BSL (Scotland) Act 2015 Legislation The BSL National Plan 2023-2029 (PDF) Contact Us Resources Social Media Authority Plans The BSL National Plan 2023-2029 (PDF Easy Read)