Unqualified ‘signer’ used as Court interpreter


Give Deaf patients access to appropriately qualified sign language interpreters

Deaf people are routinely being put in danger by healthcare providers due to a lack of regard for standards in communication. We the undersigned are calling on those commissioning healthcare services to ensure that robust procedures are in place for providing appropriately qualified sign language interpreters for Deaf patients.

New research shows that 41% of surveyed people who use British Sign Language (BSL) as their first language have left a health appointment feeling confused about their medical condition, because the interpretation was not of an adequate standard. 68% of respondents said they have asked for an interpreter to be booked for a GP appointment but did not get one.

Clear communication of information between patients and healthcare professionals can be a matter of life or death – it’s essential that both parties can leave healthcare appointments or consultations 100% confident that important medical information has been communicated clearly.

Please sign the petition to make sure Deaf people are given access to appropriately qualified interpreters.  It really is a matter of life or death.


Thanks to Whitegateend Primary School…

A huge thanks to Whitegateend Primary School for inviting me in to speak to years 1 and 3 about my job as a Sign Language Interpreter.  I had an amazing time and thoroughly enjoyed myself.  Hopefully I will be asked back again next year!!

Well done to the year 5′s who have currently taken over the school and are today working as headteacher, receptionists and every other job needed to make a school run.  All the children are a real credit to the school.  Thanks especially to Mrs Maslen!!


Whirlwind tour around the UK working with CBBC and the fabulous Steve Backshall, Naomi Wilkinson and co on Live n Deadly, Deadly Days Out

As you may remember this time last year I was on a whirlwind tour around the UK working with CBBC and the fabulous Steve Backshall, Naomi Wilkinson and co on Live n Deadly, Deadly Days Out.  We had an amazing time and travelled to far flung corners of the UK (or at least it felt like it).

Well good news people, Steve Backshall is again back and this time we are going to be travelling further than we did before!  The dates will be launched soon so keep your eyes on the Live n Deadly website.
Last year free tickets to the show were on a strictly first come and first served basis, this year it will be online booking.

If you are a deaf child or have deaf children, or you are a deaf parent with hearing children, please come along and make yourself known as the live stage shows will be accessible through myself, a qualified registered sign language interpreter.  It’s a great opportunity for you and your kids to get up close and personal with some amazing creatures.

Hope to see you there!

“Many of you out there who have the responsibility of booking interpreters may not be aware of what is happening in the North West.  Unfortunately due to economic pressures everyone is having to cut corners with regards to budget and this is having a huge impact on Deaf people when interpreters are being booked.  A lot of agencies are providing ‘sign language interpreters’ to interpret at appointments.  Quite often to save money they are sending people who are not trained or qualified to do this work.

As a qualified registered interpreter I have turned up to quite a few appointments to find out that an unqualfied, untrained person with pre GCSE level of language has been there before me and tried to facilitate communication.  This has had some serious implications especially when working with job centres (deaf people’s benefits have been stopped), the police, hospital appointments (one woman didn’t realise she was going to have a hysterectomy) etc etc.

Please can you make sure that if you are booking interpreters or using interpreters that they are a registered interpreter.  The main registration body is NRCPD and if you look at their website www.NRCPD.org.uk you can search the register to make sure they are who they say they are.  All registered interpreters must carry ID with them that clearly shows NRCPD.  Being registered means your interpreter will have a current Enhanced CRB check, Professional Indemnity Insurance and you will have access to a complaints procedure.

Keep safe out there!”