Communication Professionals Working With Deaf People

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Communication Professionals working with the deaf and hard of hearing

Here is a brief explanation about the different types of Communication Professionals available:

British Sign Language (BSL)/English Interpreter

The most requested service. BSL is a separate language from English and has its own grammatical structure. The interpreter will relay what is being said in English into BSL and vice versa.

Deafblind interpreters

People who are Deafblind can use lots of different ways to communicate and the support booked depends on the level of deafness and lack of sight. Some Deafblind people can hear speech, lipread or use sign language. Others who are profoundly deaf or cannot see sufficiently to follow use their fingers and hands to understand what is going on.

  • Deafblind Hands On. Used by deaf people who were previously sighted but have become blind. The deaf
    person places their hand on top of the interpreter’s hands and “feels” the signs.
  • Deafblind Manual. Used by people who are deaf and blind. Each letter is spelled out on their hands.
  • Deafblind Visual Frame. Used by deaf people who are going blind (Ushers syndrome). Many BSL/English
    Interpreters can do this.


Maybe the deaf person doesn’t use sign language. Now what…. ? Imagine you are a deaf defendant in court on trial. Your barrister turns her head and you can only see the back – can you understand them? No! However, if a lipspeaker had been booked, they would use clear mouth patterns and copy the rhythm and words in speech to clearly communicate the message.

If quality is your concern, for court settings we use level 3 qualified lipspeakers only.

Electronic Notetakers

Electronic notetaking involves the notetaker typing notes into a laptop computer in front of you. You can follow what is being said “in real time” or you can get the notes later.

Manual Notetakers

A manual notetaker takes clear notes in handwritten English.

Speech to Text Reporters (STTR)

Maybe you don’t want your notetaker to be skipping to the good bits. Maybe you want everything, sighs, ums, ahs, whispers and stutters included. Then you need a Speech to Text Reporter.

Communication Support Workers

The Association of Communication Support Workers describes Communication Support Workers (CSWs) as professionals who support the communication of Deaf students in education at all ages, and Deaf people in many areas of work, using a variety of methods including British Sign Language.

Deaf Relay Interpreter

Could this be more complicated that you thought at first for you and your customer? Are they from a different country ? Maybe they have a learning disability ? Let us help you make it simple and book a deaf relay interpreter – they will be critical at providing clarity.

Video Relay Interpreting Service

Allows communication with deaf people using smart phones or web cams via a Sign Language interpreter.

Deaf Expert Witness and other Deaf Forensic Services

The deaf expert you need could be a clinical psychologist, Consultant Psychiatrist, Psychotherapist, Speech and Language Therapist, Social Worker, or experienced legal interpreter experienced with working with deaf people in forensic setting over a number of years.

Foreign Sign Language Interpreters

Every language has its own sign language for example, American sign language or Polish sign language are different to British Sign Language.