Visiting a police station can be stressful enough for hearing people, but for the Deaf, the processes can be bewildering. Here are our 7 top tips for making visits as friendly as possible for Deaf users:
Use an interpreter
Communication is key! It is extremely important to use an interpreter who is suitably qualified (Registered Sign Language Interpreter, they are easily identified by their yellow registration card accredited by NRCPD). If the booking is long, the language issues are complicated or the offence is serious then two interpreters are needed.
Use an intermediary
If the victim is vulnerable, it is recommended that an intermediary is used. They can help with making sure that full access is achieved. There is a specialist Intermediary service for witnesses and victims who are Deaf sign language users.
It is advisable to video all interviews and witness statements – if speech is not used then the evidence is seen and not heard.
Face the Deaf person
You are communicating with the Deaf person, therefore, you should always face and speak directly to the Deaf person, not to the interpreter – the interpreter is only there to facilitate communication.
Take it in turns to speak
It is not possible for the interpreter to interpret when more than one person is speaking, therefore, try not to speak over others so as to make communication as clear and efficient as possible.
Remember that the interpreter is always neutral
The interpreter’s job is to facilitate communication made both ways. Interpreters are neutral and not permitted to not give advice or offer opinions.
Be aware of interpreters Code of Conduct
Interpreters work within a strict professional Code of Conduct, this can be found on the NRCPD website here.
Under The Equality Act 2010, service providers are required to make reasonable adjustments to ensure that disabled people, including those with hearing impairments, do not have serious difficulties using their services.
Want to know more?
Clarion are available 24/7 365 days a year and we are happy to discuss any queries that you need discussing/clarifying at any time. We provide British Sign Language interpreters and other communication services across the UK – to find out more about this provision and how we can help you, please visit the services page on our website.
You may also wish to learn more about our new innovative service, Video Remote Interpreting, that aims to break down day-to-day communication barriers in a cost effective way – visit our Video Remote Interpreting page or contact Beth on 01763 207907 or via email.