Booking A BSL Interpreter
Action for Deafness can assist you in booking a BSL interpreter.
BSL Link for Communication - BSL Link for Communication is an interpreting agency providing professional NRCPD registered Sign Language Interpreters and other Language Service Professionals (LSPs) in Sussex and the South East.
Please note, most healthcare providers will have an existing contract with an interpreting agency who will provide BSL interpreters. Before booking a BSL interpreter, please check with the management of the healthcare provider if there is a contracted interpreting agency. If there is no contracted agency or Management agree to go outside the contract, please feel free to contact BSL Link for Communication Ltd, who will be happy to provide a service
Deaf people who are BSL users have a right to access public services through a BSL/English Interpreter and it is the responsibility of any public body to arrange for this. So, for example, if a Deaf person needs to attend a police station or court, the police and courts services will book and pay for an interpreter to be present so that there is a complete and effective communication between all parties. The same is true for healthcare (including mental health services); when a Deaf person makes an appointment with their GP or dentist, or is referred to a hospital or healthcare service (such as a dietician or stop smoking clinic) those public services must provide an interpreter for any appointments.
There has been a lot of work done, to in this area, to educate Deaf people of their rights to an interpreter and how they should check that they have a trained, qualified and registered professional for these vital interactions with public services. It is very simple to check. Deaf people will look and ask to see an interpreter’s yellow badge. This badge is the identification card that is issued only to interpreters registered with the NRCDP.
There has been a recent development which has given cause for concern – people without a yellow badge, acting as interpreters in potentially dangerous situations. In response to this, Deaf people have used formal channels to make complaints about these people. For example, if a hospital fails to provide a registered interpreter and the Deaf patient is not shown a yellow badge they have then made a complaint through PALS (the Patient Advice and Liaison Service).
These are important issues for Deaf people with a direct impact on their quality of life, in some situations poor communication can lead to life threatening outcomes with devastating consequences.
If you or someone you know has not been offered a qualified interpreter who has a yellow card please contact us for help with your complaint