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Preparing for the DDA: New Guidance on Providing BSL Interpreters Available

Preparing for the DDA: New Guidance on Providing BSL Interpreters Available


The ‘Guidance on providing British Sign Language/English interpreters under the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 ', produced jointly by RNID, the Disability Rights Commission (DRC) and the British Deaf Association (BDA), is aimed at employers, trade organisations and service providers. It gives practical information about how to comply with the DDA when communicating with the UK's 50,000-70,000 deaf BSL users.

The guidance explains what BSL is, who uses it, and how the provision of BSL/English interpreters can remove some of the communication barriers that exist for deaf BSL users. It describes when, and why, employers need to provide a BSL/English interpreter under the DDA, with clear examples.

"The guidance will radically improve the lives of many deaf people who use BSL. We get many queries from employers who are unsure when they have to use interpreters. This new guidance will improve employers' and service providers' understanding of the DDA's requirements, ensuring they provide BSL interpreters when appropriate,” said Brian Lamb, RNID Director of Communications.

The guidance will be sent to key service providers such as banks, hospitals and the legal sector as well as employers and trade organisations. Summaries of the guidance have been produced and are available on request through the RNID information line. In addition the guidance is available on the RNID, DRC and BDA web sites and includes BSL video clips.

Issues for interpreters working with deaf people with visual impairment or specific language requirements are also covered in the guide, as is video interpreting - the provision of a BSL/English interpreter via a videophone.

Two versions of the guidance have been produced - a full A4 35 page guide and a smaller A5 quick reference version.

In addition, the guidance is available to download free online at:


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