There are 4 – almost 5 types of communication support:
BSL/ English Interpreters – both Professional and recipient have to know BSL – including it’s grammar – at Level 5 or more. ASLI is the professional organisation
STTR – both professional and recipient have to know English as a root language and read at a subtitle pace. the professional is trained to use a palantype or stenograph machine – which plays the sounds of spoken language into a database that deciphers the sounds into words. AVSTTR is the professional organisation
Lipspeaker – both professional and recipient have to understand English at a spoken level – and the recipient has to be able to lipread. and the professional has to be able to cut out unnecessary verbal jargon. It is called “Paring down”.
ALS is the professional ogganisation
Notetaker – both professional and recipient have to be able to decipher the root message and summarise it at 150 words per minute. It is not verbatim. ANP is the professional organisation
Deafblind communicator – professional has to understand – or have an understanding of – the deafblind person’s preferred intrinsic communication needs as they cannot see the relay message be it by touch, spoken – or by the strength of the remaining sense. It is more than just a signed by touch or a sound – it needs to be matched to the recipient’s needs. There is no professional organisation for communicator guides for deafblind people.
Lipspeakers with sign – Professional who relays totally in English – with additional BSL signs that the recipient can follow – it prevents the need to switch from one language to another. It is new. but much needed.ALAS is the professional organisation
IF a professional thinks they cannot get the message to the recipient faithfully and honestly, they therefore should not accept the assignment.
IF a recipient feels they cannot follow – or feels unconfident in the relayed message – then they should say so. You have a right to be able to follow within your own needs. Deaf people should not be used to be taken advantage of – a true Professional will make sure that their clients are comfortable and can follow – whomever books them.
If you are responsible for making sure deaf or HOH people can follow – you should only book a communication professional from the NRCPD register to make sure they are qualified to do the job, and understand the needs of your client.
No one should be pushed or put into a square box with a round hole – we are all different. It’s time to stop stereotyping deaf people into a language barrier.