Enabling communication between Deaf and hearing people
You can book a British Sign Language (BSL)-English interpreter to enable communication with a Deaf customer. The BSL interpreting service can be booked by anyone including:
Under the Equality Act (2010), booking and paying for a British Sign Language interpreter to enable communication with a Deaf customer would be seen as a reasonable adjustment, ensuring equitable and fair access for Deaf BSL users.
Without the qualified interpreter, the hearing and Deaf person would struggle to communicate effectively with each other.
The BSL interpreting service is delivered by professional interpreters who provide a confidential service and work to strict codes of practice. All interpreters booked through NESS are registered with the Scottish Register of Language Professionals with the Deaf Community (the Scottish Register) or the UK body NRCPD (National Registers of Communication Professionals working with Deaf and Deafblind People).
Professional charges are payable by the customer making the booking.
Over 7,000 Deaf people in Scotland use British Sign Language (BSL) as their first or preferred language. They were born profoundly deaf or became profoundly deaf before they learned to speak.
BSL is a recognised British language, and a recognised language of Scotland. BSL is a visual, three-dimensional language, using gesture, movement, facial expression, and body language.
BSL has its own grammar and structure, which works differently from spoken language. It is not universal but has regional dialects, meaning some signs will differ. Because of the different grammar and structure, it is essential the BSL users can communicate and get information in sign language so they get a full understanding.
The following tips will help you to feel confident when meeting with a Deaf person and working with an interpreter.