Questions to ask Suppliers to support deaf students

We wanted to give you an idea of the types of things you should be looking for in a Supplier.  This post offers some suggestions on questions to ask Suppliers to support deaf students and will mean that you can make the best possible choice for the student.

You want to have an understanding of how much support like this they have provided in the past – so here are the types of questions you can ask:

How many years have you been providing services to Universities?


This will be critical as you want someone who understands how the University dynamic works right now.


At what Universities have you provided until now?


This lets you know the experience that they have across the UK.

How many Interpreters do you have working in this geographical area?


Suppliers currently have the ability to use Interpreters nationwide as these first terms will be online.  But what you want to ensure is that Suppliers will not use number of Interpreters across the UK who will then be unable to support the deaf students face to face, as they live too far away.  This would eventuate with the student receiving an inconsistent level of support, which can have a detrimental effect on their studies, as they would have to adjust to another set of Interpreters mid-way through their year.

So you want to know that if they are using Interpreters in different locations they are mixing this with a solid team of local interpreters as well.

What areas of study or subjects have you covered?


Other important questions to ask Suppliers to support deaf students is about a student who has a very technical course such as Computing Systems or Maths. With these subjects, it is often more complicated to provide support and harder to find teams of Interpreters.   You really want to know that the Supplier has tackled that challenge before.

How do you intend to provide the support?


The answer to this question will give you an understanding of the process they will take and some reassurance that the Supplier knows what they are doing.

Will there be a need for two Interpreters at any point in this student’s timetable?


You might want to know whether at any point in the timetable, there will be a need for 2 Interpreters. This will help you with the number of hours to allocate on the DSA 2 letter.

If you are able to get a copy of the timetable to the Supplier, it is much easier for them to let you know.

We consider 2 interpreters or co-working if a booking will last longer than an hour.

There are also other considerations, such as; if the booking is going to a large group meeting due to multiple attendees that are likely to be included in the discussions. Also, we look at the subject matter of the booking and the level of complexity.

Breaks provided every half hour should be in place.  If this is not possible, then we will look into providing a co-worker. It is really beneficial for a co-worker to be booked for bookings like the above-mentioned.  This allows Interpreters to work simultaneously. One will interpret for usually around 20 minutes, and then they swap. The interpreter that isn’t providing support will still be listening to what is going on, ready for when they start to interpret and so on.

It also helps each interpreter to have a rest. Interpreting simultaneously is mentally and physically tiring, so being able to take a break ensures the interpreter rests and is ready to continue.  This means the translation will be at its highest standard possible, supporting the deaf student and ensuring the safety and well-being of the interpreter.

Here is an example to illustrate this point:

A very practical subject may not require the Interpreter to translate all day.  This may mean only 1 Interpreter is needed.

If we consider a subject like Maths or Psychology. These are very heavy, technical subjects that would require 2 Interpreters. And there is often more than one lecture per day for these students as well.

How do your fees work?


So that you can add all of the relevant details and information on the assessment for the DSA 2 letter.

We hope this gives you a useful set of questions to ask Suppliers for deaf students.  If you have any questions at all, you can get in touch with us:
01635 886 264