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Inspirational - that was the verdict of Strathkelvin and Bearsden MSP Rona Mackay after a visit recently to Deafblind Scotland's Learning and Development Centre at Lenzie.

The charity which campaigns for the rights of the deafblind community is presently looking for trainee guide communicators to help people with dual sensory impairments to navigate everyday activities.

The paid roles of trainee guides involve working 1-2-1 with people to support them with everyday activities that most people take for granted – such as shopping or social events.

During her visit, Ms Mackay met with Deafblind Scotland Chief Executive Isabella Goldie, her staff, volunteers and members, and praised the “inspirational team” there.

The local SNP MSP also met with the centre’s Right To Dream Group - a proactive forum supported by the Scottish Government Equality and Human Right Fund (EHRF).

The aims of the group are to:

Build a leadership group of deafblind ambassadors who will create a deafblind policy forum that can interact effectively with policy makers.

Raise awareness and confidence of people with sensory impairments in accessing their legal rights such as human rights law, British Sign Language and mental health/incapacity acts and developments such as national social care service and social security Scotland through R2D e-training, briefings and local peer-led workshops.

Provide sensory literate rights-based training/support to public services.

Ms Mackay said: “I am very grateful for the insight shared as to how the Scottish Parliament can continue to improve support for people who are sensory impaired to help them thrive in their everyday lives.

"I received such a warm welcome from Chief Executive Isabella Goldie and her team. The work being carried out by the staff, volunteers and members to support the Deafblind community in my constituency and beyond is truly inspirational.”

Ms Goldie was appointed to her role as Chief Executive in 2019.

A spokesperson for Deafblind Scotland tweeted: "We had the pleasure of having local MSP Rona Mackay visit Deafblind Scotland.

"She gave us all some encouraging words and we had a chance to highlight the needs of deafblind people."

"On the Deafblind Scotland website, Ms Goldie said that they "want to aim high in what we ask of society".

She added: "People with sensory loss and those living with a dual sensory loss deserve environments that are not only possible to ‘reach and access’ which is so often the definition of an accessible environment, but places and spaces that they can equally use and that enrich their lives.”

No previous knowledge of British Sign Language or similar is required to apply for the paid roles of trainee guide communicators with fixed or sessional hours that involve working 1-2-1 with people to support them with navigating everyday activities like shopping or social events.

More information is available at

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