Various methods of communication support are available and these are mentioned throughout our Position Statements. British Sign Language (BSL)/English Interpreters, Notetakers, Lipspeakers and Communication Support Workers are collectively referred to as Language Support Professionals (LSPs).
BSL/English interpreters are highly trained professionals who can be booked to attend meetings with Deaf people. They will translate what is spoken in English into BSL and what is signed in BSL into English.
An electronic notetaker is a highly trained professional person who takes notes – usually on a laptop computer – at meetings so that deaf people can follow the proceedings. The notes can be projected onto a screen for larger audiences.
Deafened or hard of hearing people who prefer to lipread may ask for the support of a lipspeaker. These are highly trained professionals who speak without sound and who may use fingerspelling to indicate the fi rst letter of a word to make it clearer.
Communication Support Workers (CSWs)
These professionals work in many different kinds of situations to help deaf people communicate with others. In educational settings they help the student to understand
the lessons and to communicate with their teachers and other students by translating from spoken English to BSL and from BSL to spoken English. CSWs may also work with
Deaf people with additional needs. CSWs work with the same Deaf person each day which means they understand their needs and can give additional support where necessary.
Registered Qualified LSPs Any LSP you book should be appropriately qualified and registered with either the Scottish Association of Sign Language Interpreters (SASLI) www.sasli.co.uk or the National Register of Communication Professionals working with deaf and deafblind people www.nrcpd.org.uk. SASLI holds the register for qualified Sign Language Interpreters in Scotland and NRCPD maintains the national register of all qualified LSPs. Registered LSPs must hold certain qualifications and abide by certain professional standards. A list of relevant qualifications can be found on the NRCPD website www.nrcpd.org.uk.
Booking Communication Support
To find an interpreter in Scotland visit SASLI’s website www.sasli.co.uk/register/find-an-interpreter. You should make the booking 6 – 8 weeks before your event as these services are in great demand.
The use of online interpreting has increased recently and will most likely be more widely used in the future. When no BSL/English interpreter is available to attend a meeting – for example a doctor’s or hospital appointment – the service provider may have access to online interpreting. This means they connect to an interpreter via a webcam and the interpreter communicates over the computer screen.