Service under the Spotlight: British Sign Language Interpreting

Each month, we will be getting better acquainted with a TLS service; when and why you might need it, how to book it and how to make the most of the booking.

You may be new to the world of booking language support, or perhaps you book the same service each time because you don’t know what else is out there, or perhaps you have never considered that something different might work for you – this is for you!

In this issue, we are looking at British Sign Language (BSL) interpreting.

It is for you if:

You have a Deaf service user. BSL interpreting provides communication support for Deaf people, ie people with hearing loss who use British Sign Language (BSL).
Your BSL interpreter will communicate your spoken language into sign language for the service user, and vice versa.

It is not for you if:

Your service user is hearing impaired but does not know BSL; other language versions of sign language (eg Ghanaian Sign Language) are not interchangeable. In this case, please speak to our bookings team to see if we can offer a solution.

When it works best:

In all face to face bookings with a Deaf service user. It may be appropriate for video remote interpreting bookings too.

Tips to get the most from your booking:

  • When booking, ask whether you will need one or two interpreters. This will depend on the length of the booking.
  • If possible, send the interpreter any preparation material in advance so that they know what to expect and can prepare as much as possible.
  • Be aware that the service user and interpreter need to see each other clearly. Interpreters can advise on the best place for them to be.

Call our bookings team for guidance and support on 020 3373 4000 or 020 8430 1023.