Working with an interpreter

When working with an interpreter you should consider the following:

  • Seating positions - you will usually sit next to the interpreter and opposite the deaf person - but always check
  • Make sure there is good lighting and limit distractions
  • Allow plenty of time - it will take a bit longer
  • Always talk to the Deaf BSL user although they will be looking at the interpreter
  • Be aware that the interpreter will interpret everything including any asides
  • The interpreter is not there to support the person only to interpret
  • The interpreter may explain Deaf culture and hearing culture
  • Medical and criminal justice appointments will need an interpreter with specialised training in interpreting in these complex situations
  • Provide information about the appointment in advance to the interpreter so they can be fully prepared and interpret more effectively.