More than 70,000 people in the UK use sign language including BSL as their preferred or only language. Many Deaf people request a British Sign Language Interpreter when accessing services.
Under the Disability Discrimination Act, service providers must ensure that people with sensory impairment have equal access to information and services. This means providing appropriate communication support.
It is the responsibility of the service provider to book an interpreter not the service user.
The Accessible Information Standard 2016 requires Health & Social Care providers to provide information in the format requested e.g. BSL Interpreter / or electronic notetaker to visit the GP / dentist for example. (See previous page re: Accessible Information Stanadard)
A communication professional can be booked from an agency that provides language services. Some service providers contract with an agency to provide interpreting / translating services e.g. Mid Yorkshire Hospital uses an agency that provides sign language interpreters for appointments.
The language service can provide communication support to a deaf person in their chosen language format: e.g.
- British Sign Language (BSL)
- Sign Supported English (SSE)
- Deafblind Manual
- Relay Interpreting
- Lipspeakers (for hard of hearing / deafened people)
- Palentypists / speech to text translator or notetaker
The agency can can provide an interpreter or other communication support in a variety of settings, for example:
- Welfare Rights services
- GP & Hospital appointments
- Dental appointments
- Opticians appointments
- Social Care meetings
- Open consultation meetings
These services provide a confidential, impartial and highly professional service, whilst being flexible and responsive as possible as an aid to communication.
There is a charge for using the communication services.
For more information or information regarding charges please contact the agency direct.