Booking a BSL Intepreter

What is British Sign Language?

British Sign Language (or BSL) is the first preferred language of the deaf community; it is accepted by both linguists and the British Government as a language in its own right.

BSL is not simply miming or gesturing, or a system of spelling out. It is a visual language which, like two-thirds of the world’s languages, has no written form. BSL is just as rich in vocabulary, syntax and grammar as any spoken and written language.

Under the Disability Discrimination Act, all service providers will have to make reasonable changes to make sure their services are accessible to everyone, including those people who use BSL. Some examples of reasonable changes/adjustments could be; reallocation of a duty a disabled employee cannot do, providing a nearby parking space for a disabled worker, providing a piece of equipment, swapping two pieces of equipment, redeploying a disabled person to a non-public facing role, allowing for regular breaks to cope with a disability, and so on.

Remember - not all deaf people use BSL, always ask the person how they prefer to communicate.  If they do prefer to sign, they may already have an interpreter that they are comfortable with.  Interpreters are regulated by a body called The National Registers of Communication Professionals working with Deaf and Deafblind People (NRCPD). All registered interpreters are bound by the NRCPD’s code of conduct, which means they have to respect confidentiality and stay completely impartial.

How to book an interpreter or communicator

As there is a national shortage of suitably qualified interpreters, it is important to book interpreters several weeks in advance whenever possible or to be flexible about dates and times.
When booking an interpreter you should provide the following initial information:

  • Type of assignment (job interview, meeting, conference etc.)
  • Date, time and length of appointment.

If a suitable interpreter or communicator is available then further information can be provided, such as:

  • Subject matter
  • Requirements
  • Fees
  • Address of assignment
  • Telephone/fax contact details
  • Name of contact person at assignment
  • Name and address to whom the invoice should be sent.

To book a BSL interpreter or communicator in Ceredigion, please contact:

Welsh Interpretation and Translation Service

  • Telephone: 02920537555

All Welsh Interpretation and Translation services costs will need to come from Departmental budgets. For any initial queries please contact Ruth Fowler, Human Resources Equalities and Communications Officer ruf@aber.ac.uk 01970628424.