Never Booked LSPs Before? Look No Further…

I’m organising a conference, how will I know if I need to book services for Deaf people?

It makes good business and organizational sense to ask all potential delegates what access requirements they have. The way this is done will very much depend upon the size of the event and corporate style; sending an email to everyone or designing a specific form are two ways that you could consider. Ask for the information well in advance, say 8 weeks before the event, this should give you enough time to organize facilities for your Deaf participants through Aditus. Remember too that this in itself will demonstrate you have taken some action to meet your duties under the Equalty Act 2010.  It’s always advisable to book services provisionally and cancel at a later date once requirements are actually known. If you don’t know your client base it’s essential to consider advertising your event to the Deaf community; Deaf run organizations, etc. Again, consider the lead in period to your event so you can make the best of the opportunities to attract Deaf people.

I’m organising an open day, how will I know if Deaf people are coming?

Open day events can attract a wide range of interest and the same applies to the Deaf community. To be sure you are able to meet the needs of Deaf visitors, Aditus could contract interpreters who can provide assistance with reception enquires, formal presentations and informal liaison with the host, stall holders and other stakeholders. To maximise the event’s exposure to Deaf people, event organizers should consider advertising in key places that are visited by Deaf people, The British Deaf Association may be able to advise on local Deaf community bases and advertising on community information sites may provide useful links http://www.bda.org.uk

My Deaf member of staff prefers to use certain interpreters, would Aditus book those recommended interpreters?

Whilst we would always wish to respect the Deaf persons right to choose we do maintain a strict policy regarding the contracting of LSP services, therefore as long as they meet our criteria we would be more than happy to book them for you. If you would like to make a booking please do complete our online booking form.

How can Aditus help me make sure my business is compliant with current Legislation?

We will endeavour to provide the best package of Language Service Professionals for you as a reasonable adjustment to Deaf people. These LSP’s will be proficient for the task, the service will be cost efficient and we will guide you about any arrangements needed to make the service seamless and effortless at your end. The Department for Work and Pensions offers advice to business enterprises on their responsibilities under Law “adjusting for better business”; view it at http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/DisabledPeople/RightsAndObligations/DisabilityRights/DG_4001068

Is the provision of a language service professional a “reasonable adjustment” under currrent legislation?

Yes, LSP’s can be considered a reasonable adjustment, although much will depend on the particular requirements of your D/deaf customers and employees. For example there is no point booking an Interpreter if your customer or employee needs a Lipspeaker; we are here to help you get the right service to make those adjustments.

How can I make sure my Deaf staff are kept up to date with information?

There are a range of ways you can keep Deaf staff up to date and your needs will be determined by how you operate. You may be concerned to make policies and procedures accessible, you may want to ensure that staff briefings, meetings and performance assessments are barrier free. Aditus can provide services for all situations; helping you to build on equality compliance and good company practice.

How can I make sure my Deaf staff are not isolated at work?

Aditus provides services that can remove the barriers to communication where Deaf and hearing people need to interact. Deaf Awareness/Equality Training is highly recommended as a first step in starting to make the workplace accessible and of course induction training, company health and safety responsibilities and company appraisal schemes should be made accessible as a cost effective alternative to industrial injury claims, grievance and disciplinary actions. We can tailor short training courses to suit your specific needs, please click here to see the examples of training we can offer. It is also useful to note that training to make your staff D/deaf aware may attract funding from the government’s Access to Work Scheme, see https://www.gov.uk/access-to-work

Will Aditus try to book local interpreters so that travel costs are kept to a minimum?

Yes, wherever possible we incorporate travel costs into the overall fee. In any event, we prefer to contract local services which not only reduces costs but also, as BSL has a number of regional dialects, assists with communication. Unfortunately, due to the relatively small number of interpreters available, this may not always be possible. However, most BSL/English Interpreters are required to travel widely and therefore are familiar with regional vocabularies.

How will I know which interpreter is on duty at my event?

If you are running a short event that only requires one or two interpreters it will be fairly easy to identify which interpreter is on duty. For larger events that require a team of interpreters we can designate, on your behalf, a coordinator who will be available for liaison about services, duty interpreters and any other “unforeseen” glitches that inevitably occur at larger events. We can also help devise a system that offers a visual indication, for example at major outdoor events, such as concerts or public gatherings; we would suggest a high visibility vest, or, at indoor events, Interpreters may only need to display their professional photographic identity card. We are happy to discuss your requirements with you. Please go to our online booking form or click here to make a general enquiry.

How can I ensure I am not booking and paying for services I may not need?

We are committed to providing the highest possible standard of Language Service Professionals that are cost effective to your company or organization. We are also fully committed to providing services whilst supporting better use of the professionals available to the Deaf community. With only approximately 900 BSL/English interpreters, 50 qualified Lipspeakers and 40 Speech to Text Reporters for the whole UK we believe that service providers, employers and LSP’s should take responsibility for efficient use of these very scarce resources.

I’ve heard about accessible discipline at meetings, what does this mean?

It is always advisable to have a designated Chair person to manage meetings where D/deaf people are participants. BSL users in particular do conform to a strict turn taking culture, therefore it is very often difficult for them to interject during meetings especially when people are contributing in an ad-hoc manner. For many disabled people it is also beneficial if people indicate who is speaking before they contribute, certainly, a D/deaf person who is using the services of an LSP may not be aware who is speaking or that the speaker has changed. Oftentimes people do not wait for others to finish and therefore begin to talk over one another, when this happens the LSP may interrupt for repetition or clarification as it is impossible to interpret for more than one person at a time. Typically, Deaf people indicate that they wish to contribute and often will wait until someone invites them to do so; it would, therefore, be more equal if all participants were asked to indicate when they wish to contribute at the start of the meeting, which will also go some way to reduce the number of LSP interruptions.

I’d like the language service providers to wear the company’s t-shirts while they’re working, is this a problem?

Aditus is happy to offer guidance about the best way of providing high quality services and promoting your company at the same time. Company logos emblazoned on the front of a t-shirt can create visual noise for the sign language user or lipreader, in short it can distort the production of the service and make your event less accessible to your D/deaf participants.

How do I know I’m getting the interpreters I’m paying for?

When a booking is confirmed we will send a contract which will stipulate the names of the LSPs that are going to provide the service, The LSPs will all carry some identification such as their professional registration or membership cards, which should either be on display or produced on request. In the event that we have to replace a named LSP due to sickness or some other unavoidable circumstance, we will always keep you informed of any changes.

What can I do if I have a complaint about the service I receive?

It is always advisable to address any issues with the LSPs concerned at the time, sometimes it is merely a misunderstanding which may be clarified on the spot. When a team Co-ordinator has been employed then please raise any problems with them in the first instance. If you are still not satisfied with the service you received please do let us know immediately so that we can take steps to help resolve any issues. If you wish to make a complaint about the service from Aditus itself then please do not hesitate to let us know so that we can address any issues immediately. Please click here to access our feedback form.

Do I need to do anything to make the interpreters feel more part of the team in social settings?

LSPs are there to provide a service to all, they are not actually participants in the event so would not consider themselves to be part of the team. Nevertheless, in order for the team members to interact socially it may be that the LSPs will be more flexible, but, it is important that participants do not then interact solely with the LSP when it would be more appropriate to engage with the D/deaf colleagues.

Is there a dress code for LSPs?

As professionals LSPs are expected to dress according to the requirements of the assignment, for example it would be rather impractical to find oneself lipspeaking half way up a cliff in a business suit and high heels during an adventure training weekend, but equally it would be most inappropriate for the LSP to arrive at the Crown Court in jeans and sweatshirt. Aditus always, as a matter of course, advises the LSPs on the dress requirements for each event. Sometimes it is unclear as to the appropriate dress requirements and we may ask for some direction from you on this.

How can I get corporate policies made accessible to Deaf people?

Aditus would be pleased to give further advice on making policies and procedures accessible to Deaf people. Contact us here

Should I ask my Deaf users for feedback about the service and what should I do with the response?

Yes indeed, please do talk to your users as they are the best judge of the service they receive. That is all users of the service not just the D/deaf people. Interpreters, for example, will be providing a service to all via BSL and English so it is just as important to ask your non-Deaf participants for feedback. We always welcome any feedback you would like to give us, good or bad, we will make sure this is passed on to the LSPs concerned. Of course, if your participants are not happy with the service they receive then we can ensure that improvements are made for any future bookings. We like to facilitate feedback for all our clients and as such we provide a short feedback form, so please click here to give us your views.

What is Access to Work?

Access to Work is the government scheme available to disabled and Deaf people to support their access and remove barriers to work. It provides funding to employers to make premises, information systems and communication available and accessible. Further information about the Scheme is available at https://www.gov.uk/access-to-work