Small grants for online event accessibility – BSL/captions

* Update (7/01/21): All 5 grants have now been allocated to user-led groups, but please do keep an eye on our website as we hope to offer more small grants like these in the future. *

Grant information:

Are you a mental health user led group organising an online event in the next few months? NSUN is making 5 small grants of up to £150 available for British Sign Language (BSL) interpretation or palantypists (live captions) for your event. These grants have been made available through a grant from the National Lottery Community Fund and aim to help reach digitally excluded people.

Email us and tell us about your group or organisation (what you do and who you are) & your event (including date or approximate date), and we can take it from there. There is no application process as such – you just need to meet the basic criteria, and we will agree the grants as they come in.

  1. You need to be a group led by and for people who live with mental ill-health, distress or trauma
  2. Your group needs to be based in England although your online event might also reach people outside of England
  3. Your event needs to take place before the end of March 2021
  4. You do not need to be constituted (for example, as a charity, or CIC) and you don’t need a bank account
  5. We can send you a short list of BSL interpreters/palantypists or you can use someone you know
  6. You are responsible for contacting the interpreter/palantypist and making arrangements
  7. We can offer up to £150 per group which should pay for a 1 hour event.  Fees vary between interpreters/palantypists and between freelancers and agencies.

What we will do

  1. We will put you in touch with the BSL interpreters we used for our AGM (we used two freelancers and BID interpreting)
  2. We can also send you a list of other BSL interpreters or palantypists
  3. Once your event has taken place you can either pay the interpreter/palantypist directly and send us an invoice, or they can invoice us directly. We can only pay invoices/reimburse up to £150.

Email Amy for more information at

Information on BSL/palantypist use for online events

You can see an example of a BSL interpreter at an online event by watching recordings of our livestreamed AGM events, for example our “needs of user-led groups” panel. On Zoom or other online meeting platforms, you can “pin” a BSL interpreter to the screen so that their signing is visible to everyone. We can give you more tips on the process for both BSL and captions when you get in touch.

14th December 2020