Exactly how accessible is the information you share?

Exactly how accessible is the information you share?

Watch the clip below to find out:

Did you know, the Royal Association for Deaf people was established in 1841? The organisation was the first in England to recognise that Deaf people can play a full and equal part in society if British Sign Language (BSL) is recognised and embraced.

What is BSL?

BSL is the most common form of Sign Language used in the UK and is the first or preferred language of approximately 145,00 people (UK Census, 2011). Whilst it is the official signed language of the UK, BSL is not an English-based language. It is a visual language that has its own grammatical structure and syntax, and uses gestures, facial expression and body language.

What is a BSL/English interpreter?

BSL is not a widely used language in England. In order for Deaf people to communicate they need sign language interpreters. There are approximately 1020 interpreters registered in the UK.

Interpreters work to ensure that people using different languages can communicate.  BSL/English interpreters are bilingual (in BSL and English) and highly trained to interpret the meaning and content from one language into the other.

They are aware of the cultural and linguistic differences between Deaf and hearing people and a professional interpreter will ensure that everyone has equality of access to communication.

Deaf people don’t always have access to an interpreter. This could be due to funding issues or people simply not understanding why an interpreter is necessary.

What could happen if a Deaf person doesn’t have an interpreter?

When trying to understand why it is important for Deaf people to have an interpreter, it’s often recommended trying to imagine being a foreign country where you may understand some of vocabulary of the local language – and need to access a statutory service, for example health care. The impact and potential ramifications are tremendous; sometimes life threatening.

Direct access to information in a Deaf person’s first or preferred language ensures better information and outcomes. For the majority of Deaf people in the UK, this access comes in the form of a BSL/English interpreter.

How the Royal Association for Deaf people (RAD) can help?

RAD is one of the oldest and most respected organisations working directly with Deaf people in England. One of its key ambitions is to make mainstream services accessible to Deaf people by delivering professional communication services.

RAD provides an ethical, high quality and competitively priced service and are experts in providing Communication Professionals to deaf people:

  • BSL/ English Interpreters
  • Deaf Interpreters
  • Translation
  • Lipspeakers
  • Speech-To-Text-Reporters (STTRs)
  • Note-takers
  • Deafblind Interpreters working with Deafblind Manual, Visual Frame, Hands-On and Social Haptic Communication

Organisations across all sectors have used RAD’s Interpreting to ensure the information they make to the general public can be understood by Deaf people. HMRC, Essex Fire and Rescue Service and Citizens Advice are just some of the businesses RAD has helped to ensure their services are available in British Sign Language.

The service only uses translators registered with the National Registers of Communication Professionals working with Deaf and Deafblind people.

For more information or advice on how to make your service more accessible to Deaf people, please email Laura Herbert, Interpreting Business Development Manager at interpreting@royaldeaf.org.uk