Learning Centre

Welcome to the terptree Learning Centre.

Whether you are a business looking to employ a deaf person and understand more about Access to Work, or a deaf student just starting University, you should find the answers you are looking for below.  

Simply, click on the section you want and it will take you straight there!       

If there is anything you can’t find, just get in touch at hello@terptree.co.uk and we will be happy to help you.  

Access to Work

Communication Professionals

Deaf Students

DSA Assessors

General Deaf Awareness

Interpreting Services

Universities

Access to Work

Access to Work is a Government scheme that funds any necessary adjustments in the workplace to make it accessible for disabled employees.

It can provide funding for:

  • Aid and equipment in your workplace
  • Adapting equipment to make it easier for you
  • Extra travel costs to and from work if you can’t use available public transport, or if you need help to adapt your vehicle
  • An interpreter or other support at a job interview
  • Other practical help at work such as a job coach, a note-taker or a lip speaker

It will also fund Deaf Awareness Training for the team – so that colleagues can gain a clear understanding of how to work alongside and communicate with a deaf person. This really helps in creating an inclusive workplace.

Under Access to Work, a customer who has been awarded the highest budget available (£62,900 for 1/4/21-31/3/22) is referred to as a capped customer.  This is often given to deaf people who work full time, requiring constant support for their role and has to be split between all of the services that the deaf person requires. 

These customers have more freedom to manage their budget but need to be aware that in the first year, there are generally some one-off costs such as deaf awareness training and equipment.  When these 2 items are taken out of the budget, the remainder is around £55,000, which can be used for support services.

After the first year, the full amount will be available for the customer to manage according to their needs.

For capped customers, because the budget is not managed on an hourly basis, but on a total budget basis, the deaf person takes responsibility for managing the budget and is able to use which services they want and do not have to worry too much about the initial hourly rate that was submitted.

What is important to remember is that the whole budget must be spent within the year of award.  If not, there may be a risk of this level of support not being provided again in future.

If during the course of the year, you require more support, this can be requested directly from the Access to Work assessor. This would be the case, for example, if there were some additional training that you needed to attend, a large conference, or a series of meetings that suddenly become relevant because you are involved in a new project.

If you need to claim more during that period, you would have to provide good evidence and be questioned regarding your request as the assessor will have put in place what they considered to be the correct amount of grant necessary to cover any specialist aid, equipment and support following their initial assessment.

Access to Work bookings can either be invoiced to the company you work for, who can then claim back from Access to Work or directly to Access to Work, which can take a while to process payments.

The preference from an agency point of view is to invoice the company you work for, so it will be important that they register to become a Supplier.

You will need to fill in a claim form that needs to be submitted along with the invoice. Sometimes agencies will fill in the claim form for you. You need to sign the form and a line manager needs to countersign to agree that the support has taken place and then send it off to Access to Work. This will also need to be accompanied by a signed, dated timesheet.

Access to Work can also fund Deaf Awareness Training, which is always recommended for hearing teams who have a deaf colleague, as this will improve the environment, communication and team integration.

Deaf Awareness Training is normally given in a group of 20 participants.  If you have more employees within your team, you would request multiple Deaf Awareness Training sessions to cater for as many people as is necessary.

Deaf Awareness Training really helps businesses better understand their deaf colleagues and learn how to make reasonable adjustments so that they can fully access the work environment.

Find out more here: https://terptree.co.uk/deaf-awareness-training-2021/

Once the budget for Access to Work has been approved, based on the quotes submitted, it is up to you to use whichever agency you prefer to work with.

However, if you spend any more per hour than what was agreed on the Access to Work budget, this has to be paid for by your employer.

For example, if the budget has been agreed for a BSL interpreter for £50 per hour, and the supplier charges £60 per hour, the £10 difference has to be charged per hour to your employer.

Make sure that you choose an agency who you feel confident with.
Ask them questions like:

  • Have you provided support to deaf people receiving Access to Work before?
  • How do you work with deaf people?
  • Do you have plenty of BSL Interpreters in my area?
  • Can you share feedback from other deaf customers with me?
  • How do I book with you?
  • What is the minimum booking time?
  • What are your cancellation periods?
  • What are your out of hours fees?

If you are self-employed, you will need to sign a timesheet to accompany the company invoice.

The timesheet must include: date, hours, type of support provided, location, support workers name, contact details and signature.

You will need to fill in part three of the DP222JP form.

If there is anything that you would like to share about Access to Work, or if you have a complaint, you can email:

ATW.COMPLAINTSRESOLUTIONTEAM@DWP.GOV.UK

Generally speaking, only one interpreter would be needed for job interviews. Always make sure you check how long the interview will take and how intense it is.

If you are uncertain as to whether two interpreters would be needed, this can be discussed with the Agency/BSL Interpreter.

To help the BSL Interpreter prepare for the interview, your agency will most likely ask for the following:

  • Job description
  • Interview questions
  • Job advert
  • Details of who will be on the panel
  • Agenda for the interview

Here is a useful video from the Department of Work and Pensions on how to apply for Access to work for interviews. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EorMVj0EgKs

 

This process can take a while, as there are various stages to follow throughout the claim process. From application to award should take approximately 6 weeks.

We would always suggest that you apply the moment you receive the job offer, as if you apply later there could be a chance that your employer will have to pay for a portion of the costs.

During the assessment process the assessor will discuss your needs for support. The award is worded very specifically to each individual with a budget set for each kind of support, usually an amount per week but can be for a year depending on what the assessor feels is necessary.

e.g. 20 hours per week interpreting at £X per hour.

1. The first stage in the process, is to apply online through the government website using the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/access-to-work/apply

This is to basically start the claim, so it will ask you various pieces of information about yourself, name, date of birth etc and then it will go on to ask you about your employment, name of company, address, contact details etc.

2. The Access to Work assessor will then get in touch with you and they will ask you some more questions about your needs in the workplace.

If you are aware of your needs, you can present them to the assessor so that the claim is more relevant to the technological and support needs you have.

If you are not aware of what your needs will be in this working environment, the assessor will ask the right questions to get all of the information they need to make recommendations for the support needed.

The assessor will sometimes send a form to be filled in.  These are not always self explanatory, so it may be easier for you to just simply put in writing what support you need and how much of it you need.  You may wish to submit a business case, after consultation with your line manager.  This approach provides a really good structure around the process for both yourself and your line manager.

Be proactive and explain to the assessor exactly what you need.

3. The assessor will process the information that you share and start to make recommendations.

At this point, the assessor will also ask you to go and gather:

  • Three quotes for BSL interpreting and other communication support
  • VRS – you will able to determine which service you would like to use, as the pricing for these services is very similar
  • Quotes for any tech that you would like to use e.g Roger pen

If there is a particular agency that you would like to work with, you will need to make your case for why they are most suitable for you. It could be that they are more flexible with booking interpreters at the last minute and this is what you need for your role, but these reasons need to be submitted to the assessor.

The assessor will often quickly approve an application if your request is reasonable.

4. The offer – the assessor will then come back with a report that outlines the costs and limits on hourly rates. This report will talk about any caps on the hourly rate, or any day rates. You will need to check that you are happy with this offer. If it is less than what you anticipated, respond to the assessor and explain the reasons why you need more than what has been offered.

If you choose to work with an agency to provide your communication support, they will manage a lot of the administration of the process for you. They deal with claim forms, invoicing, sourcing and booking the best interpreters and communication professionals as well as making sure that any materials that the interpreters need are provided.

This gives you more time to focus on your role.

Once you have been provided with a contract and it has been signed by both parties, you are covered by employment law. So if for example, the company stated that they had an issue with you being in the role because you are deaf, your rights are covered by equal opportunities and discrimination legislation.

Your employer can pay for this upfront and claim costs back from Access to Work.

If you have been employed for 6 weeks or more when you apply for Access to Work support for specialist equipment or an adaptation only, your employer will have to contribute to the cost according to the following minimum levels, depending on the number of employees in the organisation:

  • Employers with 1 to 49 employees are not required to pay a share of costs – Access to Work will cover all costs
  • Employers with 50 to 249 employees must pay the first £500 and 20% of costs up to £10,000
    i.e. Employer pays the first £500 and then 20% of £9,500 = £1,900 (Total cost of £2,400)
  • Employers with over 250 employees must pay the first £1,000 and 20% costs up to £10,000
    i.e. Employer pays the first £1,000 and then 20% of £9,000 = £1,800 (Total cost of £2,800)
  • Any balance above £10,000 will normally be met by Access to Work

Access to Work will consider paying grants of up to 100% for people who have been working for less than 6 weeks when they first apply for Access to Work.

Any communication support does not require any cost sharing, 100% would be reimbursed.

Three quotes are requested and Access to Work would make the final decision on the supplier, usually taking the cheapest unless there are mitigating circumstances i.e. specific needs for a particular communication professional.

Access to Work will only reimburse any claims for support from the date the grant is awarded.

So even if you apply for Access to Work before you start in your role, you can only claim for costs once the application has been approved.

The contract for the provision of services is between you and the agency providing the interpreting services.

You need to apply for communication support for an interview (different to applying for Access to Work) before the interview takes place and tell them the total cost of the communication support needed. An adviser will give a decision within 2 working days and a confirmation and claim form will be posted to you. Once this has been agreed for payment, the support worker for the job interview can be booked, if this has not been done already. When the job interview has taken place, payment can be claimed. This needs to include the invoice and the signed claim form.

Access to Work will pay the claim if the invoice cost matches the cost on the application.

Any claims for specialist aid, equipment or communication support are made by you. You will be provided with claim forms, filling in Part 4 and your employer has to fill in Part 3 to make a declaration that the support was provided and that you were working during that time.

You complete the payee details on the claim form so Access to Work knows who to make the payment to. This can be either the support professional or your employer.

If you cannot get your employer to sign the claim for costs, you can ask them to send confirmation to you by email instead. The email should confirm that you were working during that time or specialist aid or equipment was provided. You will need to print the email and send it to Access to Work with your claim.

Payment can take up to a maximum of 3 weeks.

There is no date within your employment that limits the time in which you have to apply for Access to Work.

Amount of cap on grant from 1/4/2021-31/3/2022 is £62,900.

The renewal date of the grant is determined by the assessor but is usually a year initially but can be up to a maximum of 3 years.

If you need to claim more during that period, you would have to provide good evidence and be questioned regarding your request as the assessor will have put in place what they considered to be the correct amount of grant necessary to cover the specialist aid, equipment and support following your initial assessment. This could happen if you have a change of circumstances in your role.

This is a conversation that is worth having with your new line manager.

You can ask them the following questions:

  • What training will I go through for induction and how long will this take?
  • How many meetings will I attend per week/ per month?
  • Are there other events that happen throughout the year that I would be attending?
  • Is there any refresher training that needs to happen once I’ve gone through induction?
  • How do the team communicate on a daily and weekly basis?
  • Are there any times that I will need to visit other people outside of the business?

You can always start early by contacting agencies to gain quotes for communication support services. The earlier you have this information, the easier and quicker the process will be when applying for Access to Work.

DEAF AWARENESS TRAINING

We would always recommend Deaf Awareness Training, as it establishes relationships between you and hearing staff. It also educates your hearing colleagues on how to communicate with you and gives a thorough understanding of the challenges you face in the workplace and solutions to these challenges.

COMMUNICATION SUPPORT SERVICES

There are a range of communication support services – as follows:

https://terptree.co.uk/service-providers/different-types-of-communication-professionals/

TECHNOLOGY

Roger pen

https://terptree.co.uk/guides/what-is-a-roger-pen/

If this situation is likely to occur, it needs to be mentioned during the assessment process and included so that an allowance can be made in the award.

If you decide to choose an interpreter that charges mileage on top of their fee, again this must form part of the wording on the award or else it will not be paid.

BSL Interpreter cancellation rates are as follow:

7 days or less notice – full fee
8 – 14 days notice – half fee
15 or more days – no fee

If you cancelled the booking, you would have to put a claim in to pay any invoice for cancellation fees which would be deducted from the award.

No invoices can be sent to Access to Work, they need to be addressed individually to you.

This would be considered during the initial assessment and if deemed necessary, would need to form part of the wording of the award.

If you use a BSL interpreter and they cannot visit your home, Access to Work could help pay for an online BSL interpreting service. You will need to tell Access to Work if you change the type of support you are using. For example, if you start using an online interpreting service instead of a BSL support worker. If the interpreter can provide interpreting services online, they can still be paid for this.

The agency will contact you directly for payment then you must send a claim with the invoice to AtW with an explanation of the circumstances for the cancellation.


Access to Work would review the reasons and make a decision whether to pay the claim or not. If it was due to unforeseen circumstances, they are likely to pay but if they deem it unreasonable, the claim would be unsuccessful.

There are rules about minimum earnings which means that you will need to have some paid work first before you can claim for Access to Work.

Once the support has been agreed, Access to Work will also contact your employer to let them know what has been agreed. Ultimately this has been set up for you to access your workplace and the employer needs to agree with this.

Communication Professionals

The following Communication Professionals are welcome to register with us:

BSL Interpreter
Interpreter for Deafblind people
Deaf Interpreter/Translator
Lipspeaker
Electronic Notetaker
Speech to Text Reporter (STTR)
Specialist Support Professional (SSP)

All Communication Professionals registering with us will need to hold all appropriate qualifications, DBS and insurance and be registered with an appropriate membership/registration body. These are; NRCPD, RBSLI, ANP and AVSTTR. If your registration body is not listed here, please contact us to discuss.

To register with terpree, please email interpreting@terptree.co.uk. You will receive two emails:  one to capture information about you, the other from terptree’s CEO which will have a link to documents for you to review and sign. Once you are registered, you will receive an email containing the information you need to log into terptree online (our online booking system).

Once you are registered, you will start to receive details of bookings we have available in any of the ‘counties’ that you have selected.   You will need to open this email and log into terptree online (our online booking system) to enter your fees and apply for the booking.

If you are contacted directly via email, you will need to respond to that email with your fees and any expenses.

You will receive a notification via email if you are successful in applying for the booking. You will also receive a notification email if this booking has been filled.

We request preparation material from all clients making a booking. As soon as this is available, this will be sent to you via email. If there is any further information you require, you can email us at interpreting@terptree.co.uk and we will request this for you.

If the Communication Professional cancels attending the booking assigned to them, no fee is paid. If the client/terptree cancels the booking, the following cancellation terms will apply:

  • Seven calendar days or less notice: Full Fee
  • Eight to fourteen days notice: Half Fee
  • Fifteen or more calendar days notice: No Fee

Full details of our terms and conditions are sent to you when registering with us.

Following an assignment, please email a copy of your invoice to admin@terptree.co.uk. Payment is made 30 days after the invoice date.

Yes we do, and it’s free!

Back in 2014, we were (proudly) the first in the UK to introduce a range of online training sessions aimed at improving access to interpreter education for Sign Language interpreters and other Communication Professionals working with deaf people.

Since the Global Coronavirus Pandemic, we decided to offer all of our online training materials for all Sign Language interpreters and Communication Professionals at no charge. In total, there are 21 sessions, all 90 minutes duration (and yes they can be used for CPD!).

So, simply enter your details here https://terptree-sli.mykajabi.com/

An account will be set-up for you to access this training!

Deaf Students

Disabled Students Allowance (DSA) is a grant that pays for any support that is needed for you whilst you are studying at University. The support is in place whether you are studying full-time or part-time, undergraduate, postgraduate MA or PhD.

It will also provide you with specialist equipment and any specialist software or a computer.

Part of the support is for what are called non-medical helpers (NMH) such as BSL interpreters and notetakers.

There are also some general costs which cover things like additional printing costs.

In addition, there is a travel allowance if you require a taxi to attend university rather than using public transport.

There is a cap on the amount of Disabled Students Allowance you can claim depending on whether you are in part-time or full-time education.

The maximum amount of DSA available for full-time students in 2022/2023 is £25,575 from Student Finance England (SFE).  For students from Wales, the limit is £30,000, funded by Student Finance Wales (SFW).

This funding limit includes travel and VAT.

Applying for DSA is a three step process: application, assessment and support.

You will need to apply online as you would for your student loan. During this application it will ask you if you want to apply for DSA. If you have applied for a student loan and haven’t applied for DSA you can go back into your “my account student England” and there will be an online link that stays there for you to click on to access the support.

You will be asked three questions:

  1. Which category of condition, which is multiple-choice.
  2. Type.
  3. Consent to share – this allows Student Finance England (SFE) to speak with those agencies that will be supplying your support. We would always recommend that you tick the consent as this means that the agencies supporting you will be able to contact SFE and check what levels of funding you have available.

This is the company or organisation that provides the Communication Support for you.

If you tick the box that says consent to share, you are giving consent to the Disability Adviser, the needs assessor, and the supplier. This will enable the Disability Adviser to contact and help get support in place for you and also call on your behalf and discuss your application and account.

This can be helpful as you are then able to get the support directly from your Disability Adviser to resolve any questions you have regarding your DSA.

Your needs assessor would also be able to communicate directly with SFE and respond to any direct questions for your suppliers, it would allow them to find out how many hours of support you have left and how much is left in the budget.

This means that suppliers can accurately forecast when your DSA budget will run out and make sure that the funding is in place from the University so that you don’t encounter any periods of time where you have no support in place.

If you are not taking a loan you will have to apply for DSA on paper. You will find the form here:

https://www.gov.uk/student-finance-forms

Here you will also find more details about how to fill in the form, where to input your course details etc.

There is also a part here for the University to complete. Even if you cannot go to the University physically, Student Finance England (SFE) will contact the University to have this confirmed for you.

You will need to send evidence of your disability. There is a digital upload function or you can send it via email to: dsa_medical_evidence@slc.co.uk

Or via post to:

Student Finance England
PO Box 210
Darlington
DL1 9HJ

Evidence of your disability can come from:  diagnostic reports, GP letters, SFE disability form which would need to be taken to your GP to be completed.

You may not be able to gain new evidence to submit, but it can be a photocopy. It generally takes around 3 to 5 days to review the medical evidence.

This is where you will meet with an experienced DSA needs assessor. This can happen either face-to-face or it can happen via a video call. This is not a test, it is an appointment to help decide which support you will need whilst at University.

Once you have received your eligibility letter you will be able to book the assessment. You can book an appointment at the needs assessment centre by checking on the search facility via your home postcode or a centre near your University.

As soon as possible! This is the opportunity for you to talk about what support you will need at university and the sooner you go for the assessment, the sooner your support can be arranged.

If you do not go for an assessment until nearer the date you start University, there is a risk that you will not have support in place for when you start, or there will be a lack of availability of support workers, such as interpreters or notetakers.

So, we would recommend that as soon as you receive your eligibility letter, you book yourself in for an assessment so that this can be organised quickly for you.

You will meet with an assessor and they will discuss what your support needs are. They may ask you questions about your experiences at school and college and want to know more about your chosen course and University.

They will use their experience to talk you through the options.  If you have an agency that you would prefer to work with, you can tell the assessor and they will make a recommendation for that agency.

The assessor will also undertake research into your course and your university, demo any software and make recommendations for your support.

You will have the opportunity to check this beforehand if you wish to.

Your supplier will consider providing two interpreters for co-working if a booking is going to last longer than one hour, if the booking is for a large group meeting with multiple attendees and if the subject matter is complex.

We recommend that breaks are provided every half an hour but if this is not possible then we would look into providing two interpreters so that co-working can take place.

It is really beneficial to have a co-worker for bookings, particularly in the scenarios identified above, as this allows interpreters to work simultaneously.

One interpreter will interpret for usually around 20 minutes and then swap with the other.  The interpreter who isn’t providing support will still be listening to what is going on ready for when they start to interpret and will whisper to their co-worker or make notes on the information they are hearing to assist in the interpretation.

It also allows each interpreter to have a rest. Interpreting is mentally and physically tiring so being able to take a break ensures the interpreter can provide the highest standard of support and also provides for the 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, which may mean only one interpreter is needed.

However, if we consider a subject like Maths or Psychology which are very heavy, technical subjects, they would most likely require two interpreters.  Furthermore, there are often more than one lecture per day for these subjects as well.

When you are in your assessment, it is definitely worth explaining why it is important for you to have two interpreters for your studies. This will make sure that these considerations have been made at the right point.

The assessor will send off the assessment and SFE will deal with this. They will send you a letter called a DSA 2 letter, which lets you know what has been agreed and what support will be put in place.

You will then need to get in touch with the suppliers that have been named on your DSA 2 letter (you will find their contact details on here too). This will give the suppliers time to make sure that your communication support workers are booked in time for University. They will contact your University disability department, build relationships and start to gather all of the information that they need to provide your support.

If you would like to change or transfer to another course, your support would be reviewed at this point.

If you are still uncertain about which course or which University you wish to attend, it is still advisable that you apply now as this information can be changed at a later date.

If you have studied at an undergraduate level and then wish to return to University to study at postgraduate level, your previous support would be reviewed to check that it is still appropriate for you.

If your needs change throughout your studies, you will need to contact your needs assessor. They will be thorough with this process and will make any further recommendations to SFE about your needs.

This can happen if there is a worsening condition or there is an additional condition, which would need to be supported with evidence.

The assessment centre will charge a fee for your assessment, which will come out of your DSA budget (general allowance).

This support is paid for by your DSA budget. The suppliers will invoice SFE directly, so you as a student won’t have to pay anything. This is done directly from the supplier with SFE, who are responsible for your DSA budget.

SFE will check that all of the information on the Supplier invoices are correct before making payment.

It is often the case for deaf students that the DSA budget will not cover the full support provided during the time at your University. This is due to the fact that the students often receive support from various communication support professionals, such as BSL interpreters and notetakers, which often exceeds the budget.

When you start working with your suppliers, they will put together a budget and forecast and share this with the University. This will inform the University about when the DSA budget will run out so that the University is aware that they will need to pay for the shortfall once that funding has finished.

If you are concerned about this, do speak to your University when you start so that you can be assured that funds will be put in place when your DSA budget runs out.

Deaf student

  • Sharing their timetable with their suppliers
  • Sharing feedback about support workers with their suppliers
  • Communicating any changes in their timetable
  • Communicating preferred interpreters or support workers
  • Informing the supplier if they are unwell/unable to attend
  • Signing off the booking after it is completed – a text message will be sent to you with the link to sign off

University

  • Sharing the timetable with the suppliers
  • Seeking funding to cover the overspend if necessary
  • Providing the supplier with any relevant information to aid them in supporting the student

Supplier

  • Organising support
  • Communicating regularly with the deaf student
  • Gathering feedback from the student
  • Sharing spends and budgets with the university

Suppliers are also responsible for communicating with all stakeholders involved in the process:

  • The deaf student
  • The university disability team
  • The university faculties and any other relevant departments
  • Other suppliers if necessary
  • Support workers

On your first day it is always worth making some time to go to meet with the disability team. This means that you will become familiar with the team and they will become familiar with you.

This is also the perfect opportunity for you to ask any questions you have about University, your support and about how things work.

As often as you need to. Each student will require varying levels of support, so it really depends on what you need.

You can discuss things like:

  • How are things going?
  • Is there any more help you need?
  • Are you happy with your supplier?
  • Are you happy with your interpreters/support workers?

If you have a BSL interpreter with you after a lecture, this would be a good time to approach the disability team.

It is worth you getting to know your suppliers, as you will be working with them for the duration of your studies.

Knowing who you are dealing with really helps and if you have any questions your supplier should be there to support you with those too.

Sign language interpreting works best for deaf students at University when they receive support from a consistent interpreting team. This is because the interpreters build up a detailed knowledge of the subject area over time. 

This knowledge benefits the student as when certain concepts are referred to, the interpreter is able to communicate this in context due to the acquired background knowledge.

When the supplier receives a timetable with plenty of notice, they are able to establish a team of regular interpreters. If the timetable is received with less than one months’ notice, it is very difficult to book a consistent team due to the lack of interpreters available.

When a student is in their first year and receiving support for the first time, the supplier will initially provide the most suitably experienced interpreters and then seek feedback from the student to find out which interpreters most suit their needs.  Suppliers will also be checking on the students regularly to check that they are happy with their interpreters. These are the points at which suppliers will be asking students for their preferences of interpreters.

The NRCPD is The National Register of Communication Professionals working with Deaf and Deafblind People.

All BSL Interpreters registered with NRCPD must abide by a Code of Conduct, have DBS Clearance and Professional Indemnity Insurance (PII).

There is also a complaints procedure for service users, which ensures that Communication Professionals are held accountable to their Code of Conduct.

The NRCPD support the training of professionals and ensure that a high standard of work is maintained. 

When choosing an agency to work with, it’s essential to check they work with NRCPD registered Interpreters ONLY.  This establishes that the Sign Language Interpreter or other Communication Professional they provide you with, is of a high standard and continues their professional development.

Suppliers will ask for information that will help the Interpreter/s prepare for the lecture, seminar or tutorial.  Preparation materials can be anything that helps the Interpreter to understand the content better.  For example, Interpreters may want:

  • Current and previous lecture notes
  • Terminology that is used within the field of study
  • Access to Moodle or other online resources that holds relevant academic information
  • Transcripts of videos or DVDs that will be used

Interpreters don’t know about everything! They may not understand technical jargon or special words used in your subjects or work. Preparing before a booking means an Interpreter is more likely to:

  • Feel ready before the booking starts
  • Be more accurate
  • Be able to work more effectively
  • Be more comfortable 

This will also make the booking more comfortable for the deaf student and lecturer too. All of this prep ensures that the interpretation is of the highest quality.

If you are unhappy with the support that you are receiving this could be due to:

  • Lack of communication from supplier
  • No choice of interpreters
  • Lack of consistency in interpreters
  • Dissatisfied with the quality of interpreters

Before a change in supplier is made, contact the supplier and discuss the issues you are facing and try to seek resolution.  If you would like help with this, the Disability team can help. They could also talk with the suppliers to help resolve the issue you are having.

If despite discussing the service with the supplier, you are still not receiving the support you need – there is always the option of changing supplier.

You will need to manage this change so that you are not left without support during the changeover. Ensure that support with the existing supplier is left in place to an agreed date and then future dates are filled by the new supplier so that there is a smooth transition.

To change suppliers, you will need to contact the Assessor who carried out your initial Needs Assessment and explain you would like to change suppliers and discuss the options.

This would more than likely be agreed by the Assessor, and the new supplier would be added to the DSA2 letter. Once you have received the amended DSA2 letter, share this with the new Supplier and they can start arranging your support.

Suppliers will not commence support until they have received the DSA2 letter with them named as the supplier. This is due to the risks involved should the supplier book and provide the service and then not be named on the DSA2 letter; there would then be no way of recouping the costs of what has already been provided.

For more information and timescales, please contact your Needs Assessor directly.

Your experience at University will be very different from what you have had at school or college. You will be much more responsible for the support that you receive, and although the supplier will book this for you, you will be accountable for regular communication with the supplier about what your needs are.

For example, if one of your lectures is cancelled you will need to inform the supplier so that they can cancel your support, whether that be BSL interpreting or notetaking or another form of support.

You will need to be keeping in touch with your suppliers on a regular basis to check that they have all your sessions booked for you and make sure that if your suppliers are unable to find you support, they let you know.

There are a number of extra-curricular activities that go on at University alongside your studies. This could be different groups or clubs that focus on a particular topic or area that may interest you.

Your DSA budget will not cover the costs of providing support if you wish to attend any of these sessions. If you are interested in exploring this further, meet with your disability adviser and ask them who will pay for the support worker so that you can attend these and have full access.

Your relationship with your lecturer will be what you make it. It is important to remember that your lecturer may have never taught deaf students, so this might be all new for them.

When you first meet with them, let them know more about your communication needs and how things work well for you. This will help them make your classes accessible from the start.

If things aren’t working for you, take the opportunity to discuss these with the lecturer so that you can gain the best University experience possible.

You will want to nurture a close, positive relationship with your lecturer, as you will need to be asking for lecture notes and access to online tech platforms so that interpreters can prepare.

DSA Assessors

We consider 2 interpreters or co-working, if a booking is for longer than an hour, for a large group meeting or if the subject matter is complex.

For example, subjects like Maths and Psychology are highly technical and would probably require 2 Interpreters.  However, a very practical subject may not require the Interpreter to translate all day, which may mean only 1 Interpreter is needed.

Interpreting is mentally and physically tiring so it is important for the Interpreter to have a break every half an hour.    If this is not possible, a co-worker should be considered.  Each Interpreter can then interpret for around 20 minutes then swap over allowing a rest whilst still listening in so as to be prepared for the next session.

This ensures the translation is of a high standard and considers the wellbeing of the Interpreter.

This helps Suppliers make decisions about whether 1 or 2 interpreters are needed, which impacts the number of hours to include on the assessment.

The more notice given, the better, as there will be a wider range of interpreters available.  This means the Supplier can hopefully find Communication Professionals who have experience in the student’s chosen topic of study.  This may not always be possible but gives the best chance to find the perfect person to provide support.

 

We would recommend that you supply the timetable to the Supplier at least one month before the student is to start. There are only around 1,500 registered BSL interpreters in the UK and 150,000 deaf people who use BSL. So, as you can imagine – the more notice, the better.

 

 

NOTE – WHEN INFORMING THE SUPPLIER, ALWAYS OBTAIN PERMISSION FROM THE STUDENT AND SEND A COPY OF THE DSA 2 LETTER.

When we receive the DSA2 letter, we create a clear academic year budget that enables us to forecast when the student’s DSA budget will run out and when the university will need to seek funds for the excess.  This ensures that everyone knows where they stand, to avoid disruption to the students support.

 

This is a question that we are often asked.

It is standard practice for Sign Language Interpreters to charge either a 3-hour minimum or a half day fee which is why the Suppliers providing the Interpreter also charge a 3-hour minimum fee.

This allows for both travel time and preparation for the session:  with University work in particular, the Interpreter needs to look through lecture notes, read about the subject and learn any specialist terminology in advance.

In respect of travel time, due to the shortage of Interpreters, travel is almost always necessary in order to cover 2 bookings in the same day.  If the morning booking was in North London at 10am – 11am and then the afternoon booking was in South London from 1pm – 3pm, the Interpreter would not be able to attend any more bookings that day.

Charging purely by the hour would mean the Interpreter gets paid for 3 hours for the whole day.  Charging using the 3-hour minimum means they would get paid for the whole day of 6 hours.

Since this is Industry standard, Suppliers should inform you of this throughout the quoting process.

The more information you give us, the easier it is to determine the right fee for the support provided i.e we need to know whether 2 interpreters should attend a particular session if it is a technical/complex subject.

Timings help us provide an accurate fee, so the correct start and end time of each session is really important, as well as if you require an Interpreter to attend earlier than expected.

For face to face bookings, we also require the room number and address the Interpreter needs to go to for each session they are attending.

Other important information includes whether they require a pass to enter the University itself and if there is any onsite parking.  Having this information in advance really helps to make things run smoother.

Not only does it show that we have been named as the provider of support for the student, it also shows the agreed hourly rate and how many hours of supporter included in the budget. 

This helps us to keep an eye on the budget for the year and allows us to report any potential overspend to the University in plenty of time.

The best way to communicate with a deaf person at an assessment is to organise communication support so that you can clearly discuss every aspect of the students needs.

Ask the deaf person questions, for example, what is their preferable type of communication support?

Explain what the assessment is for and what information you need from them. Always ask them if they have any questions or queries about what happens at University and the support team there. Give them as much information as possible so they know what to expect to enable them to focus on their studies.

Booking the same Interpreters for the student’s sessions really helps the student to build a rapport and get to know the Interpreter.  It means that the Interpreter will be able to provide a high standard of support as they come to know the format of the sessions and the subject matter covered.

Receiving the student’s timetable 4 weeks before the start date allows ample time to ensure the student receives consistent support.

If you need to book support for an assessment, it is important you contact the deaf person to ask them what type of Communication Professional they would prefer:  BSL Interpreter, Notetaker, etc

Please see more about the different types of Communication Professionals here:
https://terptree.co.uk/universities/different-types-of-communication-professionals/

Once you know the type of support, always make sure that the Supplier you work with provides fully registered interpreters from the NRCPD (The National Register of Communication Professionals for Deaf and Deafblind People). BSL Interpreters registered with NRCPD follow a Code of Conduct, have a complaints process, enhanced DBS clearance and Professional Indemnity Insurance (PII).

Yes, terptree only works with Interpreters who are NRCPD registered.

NRCPD is The National Register of Communication Professionals working with Deaf and Deafblind People.

All BSL Interpreters that are registered with NRCPD must abide by a Code of Conduct, have DBS Clearance and Professional Indemnity Insurance (PII).

There is also a complaints procedure for service users, which ensures that Communication Professionals are held accountable to their Code of Conduct.

The NRCPD supports the training and development of its members and ensures that a high standard of work is maintained. When choosing an agency to work with, it’s essential to check they work with NRCPD registered Interpreters ONLY, to be sure that the Communication Professional selected is of the highest standard.

Please note, another registering body which agencies may use for Interpreters and Translators is The Regulatory Body for Sign Language Interpreters and Translators (RBSLI). The RBSLI maintains a public register of qualified and trainee sign language interpreters and translators who must adhere to the RBSLI Code of Ethics.

Signed Supported English (SSE) is when you are speaking and signing at the same time.

British Sign Language uses the following grammatical structure:
YOUR – NAME – WHAT

If you were using SSE, you would follow the English grammatical structure:

WHAT IS YOUR NAME?

Sometimes deaf people have a preference for using SSE. This can be if they have grown up using English more than BSL but would rather access information using sign language.

We are able to provide Interpreters who provide services using SSE.

Here are 17 signs that you will find really useful to learn when you deliver DSA Assessments to deaf people:

https://terptree.co.uk/universities-and-assessors/17-great-signs-to-use-during-dsa-assessments/

There are many different types of Communication Professional who support deaf people:

British Sign Language Interpreter

British Sign Language (BSL) Interpreters enable communication between deaf and hearing people. This is crucial for those people who use BSL as their first or preferred language.

Electronic Notetaker

Electronic Notetakers provide comprehensive summary notes at meetings, conferences and also at University lectures, presentations and seminars.

Speech to Text Reporter (STTR)

STTR’s listen to speech and transcribe the text verbatim in a live environment using a specialist keyboard. The text is displayed on a screen at 200-300 words per minute.

Lipspeaker

A Lipspeaker is a hearing person who has been professionally trained to be easy to lipread. They provide communication support for a deaf person by using spoken language and lipreading.

Interpreter for Deafblind People

Deafblind people have different needs and preferences when it comes to communication. Interpreters can work in a hands-on manner, signing on the Deafblind persons’ hands. For those with Ushers, the Interpreter would produce BSL in a smaller signing space to work within the Deafblind persons’ field of vision.

Deaf Interpreter/Translator

Deaf Interpreters are native, first language BSL users. They use their years of experience to produce BSL in a way that is understood more clearly by deaf people. They also translate from written text/English to BSL.

Captioning

Captioning can be provided for any pre-recorded material, to make it accessible for deaf people. Captioning is also useful for other disabled audiences and for those for whom English is a second language.

Specialist Support Professional

A 1-2-1 service to support deaf students to plan their workload, structure and prepare for assignments and will also support with English use in written work.

Please see more about Different types of Communication Professionals here:
https://terptree.co.uk/universities/different-types-of-communication-professionals/

Deaf student

  • Sharing their timetable with their suppliers
  • Sharing feedback about support workers with their suppliersCommunicating any changes in the timetable
  • Communicating preferred interpreters or support workers
  • Informing the supplier if they are unwell/unable to attend
  • Signing off the booking after it is completed – text message will be sent to you with the link to sign off

University

  • Sharing the timetable with the supplier
  • Seeking funding to cover the overspend if necessary
  • Providing the supplier with any relevant information to aid them in supporting the student

Supplier

  • Organising support
  • Seeking feedback from the student
  • Sharing spends and budgets with the University

Suppliers are also responsible for communicating with all stakeholders involved in the process:

  • The deaf student
  • The University disability team
  • The University faculties and any other relevant departments
  • Other suppliers if necessary
  • Support workers

Meeting with the student on a regular basis gives the student the opportunity to let you know if they are unhappy with the support they are receiving.

The student may be unhappy for a number of reasons:

  • Lack of communication from supplier
  • No choice of interpreters
  • Lack of consistency in interpreters
  • Dissatisfaction with the quality of interpreters

Before a change in supplier is made, contact the supplier and discuss the issues that the student is facing and try to seek resolution.

Once a plan has been agreed, support the student in ensuring that they can communicate directly with the supplier and continue to receive the right level of service.

If despite discussing the service with the supplier, the student is still not receiving the support they need – there is always the option of changing supplier.

You will need to manage this change so that the student is not left without support during the changeover. It is important to continue with the support from the current supplier until a new supplier is in place, so that there is a smooth transition.

To change suppliers, the student will need to contact their DSA Assessor (who initially assessed them) and explain they would like to change suppliers and discuss the options.

This would more than likely be agreed by the Assessor, and the new supplier would be added to the DSA 2 letter. Once this has been received by the student and shared with the new supplier, the new support will commence.

Suppliers will not commence support until they have received the DSA 2 letter with them named as the supplier. This is due to the risks involved should the supplier book and provide the service and then not be named on the DSA 2 letter- there would then be no way of recouping the costs of what has been provided.

A question that we are commonly asked is ‘What is the difference between an Interpreter and a CSW?’ as well as ‘How do you choose which is most suitable?’

It is often felt that for educational environments, a CSW would be sufficient.  The role of a CSW evolved out of the lack of funding in primary and secondary education and CSW’s do not undergo any formal interpreter training.

This is at a great cost saving under the students DSA budget.  However, it is important to note that the language used within education is often full of jargon and this is a crucial component in providing the deaf person with the knowledge they require in order to complete their degree and studies and progress in their career.

If the deaf person is supported by someone who does not have the level of BSL needed to interpret this information, it can put the deaf person at a major disadvantage.  Providing the student with a CSW could compromise the deaf student’s understanding, causing them to fall behind in their studies.

In order to provide the best possible service, we would suggest that BSL Interpreters are always used.

Some deaf people have a preference for working with CSWs, as that is what they have been used to throughout their education.  But this should be challenged during the assessment with great caution to ensure that the most suitable support is arranged. The student may assume that as this is the support that they have had in the past, this should continue into their university life, but CSW’s are unlikely to be equipped to work within this new environment.

A way to support a student who is requesting a CSW, is by asking them what they liked about working with a CSW. These specific requests can then be fed back to the supplier who can ensure that the student receives the support in a way that works for them. There are many Interpreters who are able to adapt and work this way.

Top tip – share as much information with the supplier as possible, such as:

  • What is the student studying
  • The location
  • Start and end times for sessions
  • Days of the week the student will require support

You will want to do everything in your power to choose the best supplier for the deaf student, as changes to the supplier at a later date can be extremely disruptive.

Yes.

They are the exception to the rule due to the Interpreters needing to travel to bookings and the lack of BSL Interpreters (around 1,500 in UK and 150,000 deaf BSL users).

So, all of the quotes that you receive from suppliers will be exclusive of travel and VAT (as approved by SFE).

Suppliers will be seeking Interpreters local to the University/College, to keep these travel expenses as low as possible.

For your information, our cancellation terms, which are approved by SFE and are in line with industry standards are:

Cancellation within 7 days – full fee payable
Cancellation within 14 days – half fee payable
Cancellation over 15 days – no fee payable

So, it is worth knowing that a cancellation may incur charges.

These are also the Cancellation terms recommended by the National Union of BSL Interpreters (NUBSLI)  https://nubsli.com/guidance/freelance-interpreter-guidance-pack/

Please do not name a Supplier without having the conversation with them first, as they will want to start preparing to provide services, building the team and establishing communication nice as early as possible.

This will also give you the confidence that you have made a recommendation that suits the student’s needs, making the need to change supplier later on less likely. It is not advised to change suppliers whilst studying at it is extremely disruptive and can cause deaf students additional unnecessary stress.

You will want to know that the supplier has experience of providing interpreting services remotely and that they have thought through how they will support a blended learning approach.

You will also want to know how they will be supporting their support workers – so that deaf students receive the level of service that they require to successfully complete their studies.


Here are some questions you can use to understand more about the Supplier:

  • How many years have you been providing support to universities for?
  • At what universities have they provided support to?
  • How many interpreters do they have working in this geographical area?
  • What subjects of study have they covered?
  • Can they guarantee they will be able to provide the support?
  • Will there be a need for 2 interpreters at any points in the students’ timetable?
  • How do their fees work? Confirmation of travel fees? Do they charge an out of hours fee?
  • What is their booking process?
  • BSL Interpreting is provided on a 3-hour minimum basis.
  • All sessions for all support types are charged by the full hour (rounded up) – we do not charge for part hours e.g. 3.15 hours will be charged as 4 hours. 4.45 hours charged as 5 hours.
  • If the deaf student has or may have sessions after 5pm, before 9am, on weekends or Bank Holidays – please refer to our Out of Hours Fees and ensure that these are included on the DSA2 letter.

General Deaf Awareness

British Sign Language (BSL) is the most common sign language used in the UK which is mainly used by Deaf people. BSL is a rich and beautiful visual language with it’s own grammatical structure and syntax and as a language it is neither dependent on nor strongly related to spoken English. BSL uses movement of the hands and body, facial expressions and head movements to convey meaning.

BSL was recognised as an official language by the Government in 2003 and is the preferred language of 150,000 people within the UK.

We always recommend that you ask the deaf person how they would like to be referred to. Here are a list of terms that are commonly used:

Deaf
Deafblind
Hard of Hearing
Hearing Impaired
Hearing Aid User
Hearing loss

Here is some more information:

Hearing loss – this refers to someone who does not use BSL but uses hearing aids to support listening.

‘deaf’ person – may use BSL. Mainly identifies with the hearing community and may socialise with the deaf community.

‘Deaf’ person – identifies as a Deaf person using a capital letter ‘D’ which indicates that they socialise with the Deaf community, they feel that they are part of a community. This group of people use BSL as their first or preferred language.

Sign Language is different all around the world, just like spoken languages are different around the world. Also, like regional accents in the UK there are regional sign variations used too. BSL is most similar to AUSLAN, Australian Sign Language.

Interpreting Services

If you need any reassurance about how everything will work, the best approach is to ask the Interpreter or Communication Professional. Interpreters know how to make everything perfect for your booking. For example, you may need to adjust your environment to make it as accessible as possible.

Clarifying information:
If the Interpreter is not clear on a piece of information, they may need to clarify this with the speaker. They are doing this so that they can share the most accurate interpretation with you.

Working with the Interpreter and Deaf client:
When the Deaf client joins the conversation, the role of the Interpreter will change. From that moment on, the Interpreter represents the client, and everything that they say will be the information they get from the client.

When this happens, you must look at the Deaf client. Now this may seem weird, or rude, to not be looking at the person who is speaking but I promise you it is the exact opposite. Whilst you may want to look at the Interpreter, they are only verbalising what the client is saying, and so that is where you should direct your attention. Of course when you are speaking and the Interpreter is signing everything you say, the Deaf client will be looking at the Interpreter. But your focus should remain on the client.

Remember what I said about being flexible? The Interpreter needs to be opposite the Deaf client with the ability to see each other perfectly so a chair shuffle may be necessary. Similarly, if there’s beautiful sunlight streaming in behind either one of them then sorry sunshine, we’ve got to shut you out, or no-one will see anything!

Language use and pace:
It’s important to consider the language you use when speaking to a Deaf client.
Don’t say “please can you tell him..” “can you ask her..” but speak as you would to anyone who is hearing.

This includes speaking at a normal pace! You don’t need…to break up…what you’re saying…so that the Interpreter…can catch up.  The Interpreter will be listening, translating, and signing at the same time – meaning that there will be a slight delay in the information being given/received, so be prepared for that.

Given the fact that the Interpreters are doing three things at once, it’s important to note that BSL interpreting can be physically and mentally draining. Interpreters need breaks, so ensure that there’s time for them to re-charge, even if it’s just for ten minutes.

Interpreters will interpret EVERYTHING they hear, unless requested by the client to do otherwise. Think of it this way: if a hearing person would hear it, a Deaf person would see it.

Sign language interpreting works best for deaf people when they receive support from a consistent interpreting team.

This is because whilst working, the interpreters gain a detailed knowledge of the subject/topic area which builds up over time. This background knowledge benefits everyone, as when certain concepts are referred to, the interpreter is able to translate this information within the context.

It is worth asking the deaf person if they have a preference for a specific Interpreter.

When you book an Interpreter with an agency, they will ask you for preparation for the Interpreter.  This can be anything that helps the Interpreter to understand what will happen during the session. For example, Interpreters may want:

  • To contact you before the event so they can ask for anything they need or want to know
  • To know the aims or reasons for the booking, for example what the booking is. E.g:
    – A training course
    – A lecture
    – A meeting
    – An appraisal
  • Further information such as documents or papers:
    – Minutes of previous meetings
    – The agenda of a meeting
    – Handouts or PowerPoint presentations
    – Reports that will be discussed
    – Transcripts of videos or DVDs that will be used
    – If the booking is an interview: provide the names of the interview panel, add whether they are deaf or hearing. Provide names of candidate/s, add if deaf or hearing. Ask for a list of questions in advance to prepare
  • To meet briefly at the venue immediately before the booking so they can discuss anything else they need

Interpreters don’t know everything – they may not understand technical jargon or specific words used in your work. Preparing before a booking means an Interpreter is more likely to:

  • Feel ready before the booking starts
  • Be more accurate
  • Be able to work more effectively
  • Be more comfortable

This will also make the booking more comfortable for you too!

Signed Supported English (SSE) is when you are speaking and signing at the same time.

British Sign Language uses the following grammatical structure:
YOUR – NAME – WHAT

If you were using SSE, you would follow the English grammatical structure:

WHAT IS YOUR NAME?

Sometimes deaf people have a preference for using SSE. This can be if they have grown up using English more than BSL but would rather access information using sign language.

We are able to provide Interpreters who provide services using SSE.

If you create a booking and then need to cancel it, you need to be aware of the cancellation process for that agency. Many agencies will follow the cancellation process of Sign Language Interpreters:

Cancellation within 7 days – full fee payable
Cancellation within 14 days – half fee payable
Cancellation over 15 days – no fee payable

So, it is worth knowing that a cancellation may incur charges.

These are also the Cancellation terms recommended by the National Union of BSL Interpreters (NUBSLI): https://nubsli.com/guidance/freelance-interpreter-guidance-pack/

This is a question that we are often asked.

It is standard practice for Sign Language Interpreters to charge either a 3-hour minimum or a half day fee which is why the Suppliers providing the Interpreter also charge a 3-hour minimum fee.

This allows for both travel time and preparation for the session:  with University work in particular, the Interpreter needs to look through lecture notes, read about the subject and learn any specialist terminology in advance.

In respect of travel time, due to the shortage of Interpreters, travel is almost always necessary in order to cover 2 bookings in the same day.  If the morning booking was in North London at 10am – 11am and then the afternoon booking was in South London from 1pm – 3pm, the Interpreter would not be able to attend any more bookings that day.

Charging purely by the hour would mean the Interpreter gets paid for 3 hours for the whole day.  Charging using the 3-hour minimum means they would get paid for the whole day of 6 hours.

Since this is Industry standard, Suppliers should inform you of this throughout the quoting process.

We consider 2 interpreters or co-working, if a booking is for longer than an hour, for a large group meeting or if the subject matter is complex.

For example, subjects like Maths and Psychology are highly technical and would probably require 2 Interpreters.  However, a very practical subject may not require the Interpreter to translate all day, which may mean only 1 Interpreter is needed.

Interpreting is mentally and physically tiring so it is important for the Interpreter to have a break every half an hour.    If this is not possible, a co-worker should be considered.  Each Interpreter can then interpret for around 20 minutes then swap over allowing a rest whilst still listening in so as to be prepared for the next session.

This ensures the translation is of a high standard and considers the wellbeing of the Interpreter.

Yes, terptree only works with Interpreters who are NRCPD registered.

NRCPD is The National Register of Communication Professionals working with Deaf and Deafblind People.

All BSL Interpreters that are registered with NRCPD must abide by a Code of Conduct, have DBS Clearance and Professional Indemnity Insurance (PII).

There is also a complaints procedure for service users, which ensures that Communication Professionals are held accountable to their Code of Conduct.

The NRCPD supports the training and development of its members and ensures that a high standard of work is maintained. When choosing an agency to work with, it’s essential to check they work with NRCPD registered Interpreters ONLY, to be sure that the Communication Professional selected is of the highest standard.

Please note, another registering body which agencies may use for Interpreters and Translators is The Regulatory Body for Sign Language Interpreters and Translators (RBSLI). The RBSLI maintains a public register of qualified and trainee sign language interpreters and translators who must adhere to the RBSLI Code of Ethics.

You can view more detailed information (including the Code of Ethics the Communication Professional adheres to) regarding the different registration/membership organisations by following the links below:

National Register of Communication Professionals working with Deaf and Deafblind People (NRCPD)NRCPD

The Regulatory Body for Sign Language Interpreters and Translators (RBSLI)RBSLI

Association of Notetaking Professionals (ANP)ANP

A Verbatim Speech to Text Reporter (AVSTTR)AVSTTR

When we are choosing an Interpreter for a booking, there are a number of criteria that we use.

We look at the nature of the booking, the location, the content and finally the length of the booking (bookings over 1 hour may require two Sign Language Interpreters depending on the complexity of the assignment).

Agencies should always aim to book a Sign Language Interpreter who has worked in a similar field before. Most Sign Language Interpreters have preferred areas to work in, so the agency should be able to book an Interpreter with experience in your field.

It’s always a good idea to ask this question, as it means the agency can ensure the support is the best it can be for you and your booking.

From early on in your discussions, it is essential you know what the fees are and how much you will be expected to pay. Do the fees include VAT or travel costs? Are these added onto the booking fee? Do fees vary according to the start time and whether it is on a weekend or not?

Having clarity over the costs will ensure there are no awkward discussions when you receive the invoice from the agency.

Definitely!

It is always worthwhile taking recommendations from someone that you know, who has used a service before.

We would suggest that you take a look at as many online reviews as possible to ensure that you are making the best decision.

To see terptree reviews:
https://www.google.com/search?q=TERPTREE+GOOGLE+REVIEWS&rlz=1C1JZAP_enGB825GB826&oq=terptree+google+&aqs=chrome.1.69i57j69i59j69i64j69i60l2.3711j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8#lrd=0x4876a8a0bc12e223:0xc75dc4d8eee6344a,1

https://terptree.co.uk/testimonials/

https://terptree.co.uk/casestudies/

If your booking is last minute, then you need to know how often the agency will make contact to update you. Or if you have a booking, and the interpreter needs to cancel – will the agency inform you straight away, or wait until they can see if they can get the booking covered?

Ensuring that you have the best contact details for them, and they have the best contact details for you, means communication will be as efficient as possible.

One of our values is to keep things simple!

You can either email all of the booking details to interpreting@terptree.co.uk or call us on 01635 886 264.

terptree also has an online booking system you can register and log into so that you can keep track of your booking.  This can also be done via email.

Making this the best experience possible is the joint responsibility of you and your agency.

Each agency works differently, but it is always best to provide clear and detailed information about the booking from the start including contact details for the day as well.

The agency will be able to tell you what you need to do to make the process as smooth as possible.

Here is a list of information required.  If you do not have this to hand when making an initial booking, don’t worry – still get in touch!

  • Date
  • Time – start and finish
  • What is the booking for?
  • Type of Communication Professional – if you do not know, don’t worry we can advise but always check with the deaf person what support they require
  • Venue – Clear directions. Is it easy to find? Room numbers/Floor etc?
  • Name/s of the Deaf person and person to ask for on arrival
  • Number of participants (Deaf and hearing)
  • Dress code – formal, casual or smart/casual
  • Have you booked with us before?
  • Contact number for someone who will be at the booking
  • Confirm your email address for booking confirmation
  • What is your job position?
  • Invoicing details – do you need a PO?

We are always looking to improve our services and want to know what you think!

So if you would like to share your experience with terptree – please do. We take this seriously and always take feedback directly back into our business to make improvements to the services that we provide.

Equally if you have worked with a Communication Professional and they have been brilliant, let us know!  We like to share this feedback directly with them, to give them recognition for their hard work.

There are many different types of Communication Professional who support deaf people:

British Sign Language Interpreter

British Sign Language (BSL) Interpreters enable communication between deaf and hearing people. This is crucial for those people who use BSL as their first or preferred language.

Electronic Notetaker

Electronic Notetakers provide comprehensive summary notes at meetings, conferences and also at University lectures, presentations and seminars.

Speech to Text Reporter (STTR)

STTR’s listen to speech and transcribe the text verbatim in a live environment using a specialist keyboard. The text is displayed on a screen at 200-300 words per minute.

Lipspeaker

A Lipspeaker is a hearing person who has been professionally trained to be easy to lipread. They provide communication support for a deaf person by using spoken language and lipreading.

Interpreter for Deafblind People

Deafblind people have different needs and preferences when it comes to communication. Interpreters can work in a hands-on manner, signing on the Deafblind persons’ hands. For those with Ushers, the Interpreter would produce BSL in a smaller signing space to work within the Deafblind persons’ field of vision.

Deaf Interpreter/Translator

Deaf Interpreters are native, first language BSL users. They use their years of experience to produce BSL in a way that is understood more clearly by deaf people. They also translate from written text/English to BSL.

Captioning

Captioning can be provided for any pre-recorded material, to make it accessible for deaf people. Captioning is also useful for other disabled audiences and for those for whom English is a second language.

Specialist Support Professional

A 1-2-1 service to support deaf students to plan their workload, structure and prepare for assignments and will also support with English use in written work.

Please see more about Different types of Communication Professionals here:
https://terptree.co.uk/universities/different-types-of-communication-professionals/

They will need the following:

  • A typists chair and a table for the laptop, or space on the table next to the client
  • Access to power/extension lead set up near chair if possible
  • Access to the room at least 10 minutes before the meeting begins to set up the equipment
  • Any visual monitor with headphones if working in an area remotely (i.e. outside broadcast events), and must be undercover from weather conditions (due to expensive equipment)
  • Full address including postcode, and meeting room details where applicable
  • Any background papers at least 24 hours in advance so that the dictionary can be programmed on the equipment.

This helps Suppliers make decisions about whether 1 or 2 interpreters are needed, which impacts the number of hours to include on the assessment.

The more notice given, the better, as there will be a wider range of interpreters available.  This means the Supplier can hopefully find Communication Professionals who have experience in the student’s chosen topic of study.  This may not always be possible but gives the best chance to find the perfect person to provide support.

 

We would recommend that you supply the timetable to the Supplier at least one month before the student is to start. There are only around 1,500 registered BSL interpreters in the UK and 150,000 deaf people who use BSL. So, as you can imagine – the more notice, the better.

 

 

NOTE – WHEN INFORMING THE SUPPLIER, ALWAYS OBTAIN PERMISSION FROM THE STUDENT AND SEND A COPY OF THE DSA 2 LETTER.

When we receive the DSA2 letter, we create a clear academic year budget that enables us to forecast when the student’s DSA budget will run out and when the university will need to seek funds for the excess.  This ensures that everyone knows where they stand, to avoid disruption to the students support.

 

The more information you give us, the easier it is to determine the right fee for the support provided i.e we need to know whether 2 interpreters should attend a particular session if it is a technical/complex subject.

Timings help us provide an accurate fee, so the correct start and end time of each session is really important, as well as if you require an Interpreter to attend earlier than expected.

For face to face bookings, we also require the room number and address the Interpreter needs to go to for each session they are attending.

Other important information includes whether they require a pass to enter the University itself and if there is any onsite parking.  Having this information in advance really helps to make things run smoother.

Not only does it show that we have been named as the provider of support for the student, it also shows the agreed hourly rate and how many hours of support are included in the budget. 

This helps us to keep an eye on the budget for the year and allows us to report any potential overspend to the University in plenty of time.

The best way to communicate with a deaf person at an assessment is to organise communication support so that you can clearly discuss every aspect of the students needs.

Ask the deaf person questions, for example, what is their preferable type of communication support?

Explain what the assessment is for and what information you need from them. Always ask them if they have any questions or queries about what happens at University and the support team there. Give them as much information as possible so they know what to expect to enable them to focus on their studies.

Booking the same Interpreters for the student’s sessions really helps the student to build a rapport and get to know the Interpreter.  It means that the Interpreter will be able to provide a high standard of support as they come to know the format of the sessions and the subject matter covered.

Receiving the student’s timetable 4 weeks before the start date allows ample time to ensure the student receives consistent support.

If you need to book support for an assessment, it is important you contact the deaf person to ask them what type of Communication Professional they would prefer:  BSL Interpreter, Notetaker, etc

Please see more about the different types of Communication Professionals here:
https://terptree.co.uk/universities/different-types-of-communication-professionals/

Once you know the type of support, always make sure that the Supplier you work with provides fully registered interpreters from the NRCPD (The National Register of Communication Professionals for Deaf and Deafblind People). BSL Interpreters registered with NRCPD follow a Code of Conduct, have a complaints process, enhanced DBS clearance and Professional Indemnity Insurance (PII).

Yes, terptree only works with Interpreters who are NRCPD registered.

NRCPD is The National Register of Communication Professionals working with Deaf and Deafblind People.

All BSL Interpreters that are registered with NRCPD must abide by a Code of Conduct, have DBS Clearance and Professional Indemnity Insurance (PII).

There is also a complaints procedure for service users, which ensures that Communication Professionals are held accountable to their Code of Conduct.

The NRCPD supports the training and development of its members and ensures that a high standard of work is maintained. When choosing an agency to work with, it’s essential to check they work with NRCPD registered Interpreters ONLY, to be sure that the Communication Professional selected is of the highest standard.

Please note, another registering body which agencies may use for Interpreters and Translators is The Regulatory Body for Sign Language Interpreters and Translators (RBSLI). The RBSLI maintains a public register of qualified and trainee sign language interpreters and translators who must adhere to the RBSLI Code of Ethics.

Here are 17 signs that you will find really useful to learn when you deliver DSA Assessments to deaf people:

https://terptree.co.uk/universities-and-assessors/17-great-signs-to-use-during-dsa-assessments/

Deaf student

  • Sharing their timetable with their suppliers
  • Sharing feedback about support workers with their suppliersCommunicating any changes in the timetable
  • Communicating preferred interpreters or support workers
  • Informing the supplier if they are unwell/unable to attend
  • Signing off the booking after it is completed – text message will be sent to you with the link to sign off

University

  • Sharing the timetable with the supplier
  • Seeking funding to cover the overspend if necessary
  • Providing the supplier with any relevant information to aid them in supporting the student

Supplier

  • Organising support
  • Seeking feedback from the student
  • Sharing spends and budgets with the University

Suppliers are also responsible for communicating with all stakeholders involved in the process:

  • The deaf student
  • The University disability team
  • The University faculties and any other relevant departments
  • Other suppliers if necessary
  • Support workers

Meeting with the student on a regular basis gives the student the opportunity to let you know if they are unhappy with the support they are receiving.

The student may be unhappy for a number of reasons:

  • Lack of communication from supplier
  • No choice of interpreters
  • Lack of consistency in interpreters
  • Dissatisfaction with the quality of interpreters

Before a change in supplier is made, contact the supplier and discuss the issues that the student is facing and try to seek resolution.

Once a plan has been agreed, support the student in ensuring that they can communicate directly with the supplier and continue to receive the right level of service.

If despite discussing the service with the supplier, the student is still not receiving the support they need – there is always the option of changing supplier.

You will need to manage this change so that the student is not left without support during the changeover. It is important to continue with the support from the current supplier until a new supplier is in place, so that there is a smooth transition.

To change suppliers, the student will need to contact their DSA Assessor (who initially assessed them) and explain they would like to change suppliers and discuss the options.

This would more than likely be agreed by the Assessor, and the new supplier would be added to the DSA 2 letter. Once this has been received by the student and shared with the new supplier, the new support will commence.

Suppliers will not commence support until they have received the DSA 2 letter with them named as the supplier. This is due to the risks involved should the supplier book and provide the service and then not be named on the DSA 2 letter- there would then be no way of recouping the costs of what has been provided.

A question that we are commonly asked is ‘What is the difference between an Interpreter and a CSW?’ as well as ‘How do you choose which is most suitable?’

It is often felt that for educational environments, a CSW would be sufficient.  The role of a CSW evolved out of the lack of funding in primary and secondary education and CSW’s do not undergo any formal interpreter training.

This is at a great cost saving under the students DSA budget.  However, it is important to note that the language used within education is often full of jargon and this is a crucial component in providing the deaf person with the knowledge they require in order to complete their degree and studies and progress in their career.

If the deaf person is supported by someone who does not have the level of BSL needed to interpret this information, it can put the deaf person at a major disadvantage.  Providing the student with a CSW could compromise the deaf student’s understanding, causing them to fall behind in their studies.

In order to provide the best possible service, we would suggest that BSL Interpreters are always used.

Some deaf people have a preference for working with CSWs, as that is what they have been used to throughout their education.  But this should be challenged during the assessment with great caution to ensure that the most suitable support is arranged. The student may assume that as this is the support that they have had in the past, this should continue into their university life, but CSW’s are unlikely to be equipped to work within this new environment.

A way to support a student who is requesting a CSW, is by asking them what they liked about working with a CSW. These specific requests can then be fed back to the supplier who can ensure that the student receives the support in a way that works for them. There are many Interpreters who are able to adapt and work this way.

Top tip – share as much information with the supplier as possible, such as:

  • What is the student studying
  • The location
  • Start and end times for sessions
  • Days of the week the student will require support

You will want to do everything in your power to choose the best supplier for the deaf student, as changes to the supplier at a later date can be extremely disruptive.

Yes.

They are the exception to the rule due to the Interpreters needing to travel to bookings and the lack of BSL Interpreters (around 1,500 in UK and 150,000 deaf BSL users).

So, all of the quotes that you receive from suppliers will be exclusive of travel and VAT (as approved by SFE).

Suppliers will be seeking Interpreters local to the University/College, to keep these travel expenses as low as possible.

Please do not name a Supplier without having the conversation with them first, as they will want to start preparing to provide services, building the team and establishing communication nice as early as possible.

This will also give you the confidence that you have made a recommendation that suits the student’s needs, making the need to change supplier later on less likely. It is not advised to change suppliers whilst studying at it is extremely disruptive and can cause deaf students additional unnecessary stress.

You will want to know that the supplier has experience of providing interpreting services remotely and that they have thought through how they will support a blended learning approach.

You will also want to know how they will be supporting their support workers – so that deaf students receive the level of service that they require to successfully complete their studies.


Here are some questions you can use to understand more about the Supplier:

  • How many years have you been providing support to universities for?
  • At what universities have they provided support to?
  • How many interpreters do they have working in this geographical area?
  • What subjects of study have they covered?
  • Can they guarantee they will be able to provide the support?
  • Will there be a need for 2 interpreters at any points in the students’ timetable?
  • How do their fees work? Confirmation of travel fees? Do they charge an out of hours fee?
  • What is their booking process?
  • BSL Interpreting is provided on a 3-hour minimum basis.
  • All sessions for all support types are charged by the full hour (rounded up) – we do not charge for part hours e.g. 3.15 hours will be charged as 4 hours. 4.45 hours charged as 5 hours.
  • If the deaf student has or may have sessions after 5pm, before 9am, on weekends or Bank Holidays – please refer to our Out of Hours Fees and ensure that these are included on the DSA2 letter.

Universities

Here is an example of an email in plain English that you could use to gather information from the deaf student:

Dear ________________________

My name is _______________ and I work as a disability adviser at __________________.

The disability team is here to explain how students are supported..
Thank you for applying to ________________________.

I am emailing you so I can learn more about what you need at university. This helps us give you support and makes everything go as smoothly as possible for you.

Please tell me the answer to these questions:

  • How do you like to communicate?
  • What works well for you at school or college?
  • Is there anything you’re worried about?
  • Anything else you need to tell me?

I would like you to email me back with these answers.

If you have any questions here is how you can contact us:

Thank you

This is purely an example for you, to give some ideas for how you can lay out your written communication.

As you will see, we have used concise, easy to read sentences, left good-sized gaps in between and made the section with questions very clear through bullet pointing.

This is a skill that when implemented will benefit deaf students (and we would suggest all students!) in ALL communications with you. You’re making it easy for them to access the information, which removes any misunderstanding.

In all communication, you are looking to reassure the student by asking the right questions, showing you are there if they need you and guiding them through what will be most likely their first experience of independent study.

Building trust and a rapport with the students is crucial, so if you start like this, you are forming a relationship from the start.

It is also useful for you to inform the deaf student where they need to go for certain things.

For example, where the library is and what they will use it for, the role and location of the student union and any other relevant support services at university.

Always make sure that the deaf student knows what to do if they experience accessibility issues in these areas. Whether that’s coming to you as a disability team or seeking support when there.

Again, when laying out this information at the beginning you are allaying any fears and showing that if the deaf student has any questions, they can come to you.

In order to support a new deaf student, make sure that your approach is subtle, as many students may feel uncomfortable with being approached as they may feel that it is drawing attention to them. One way to introduce yourself to the student is by sending a bright and engaging email along the lines of

Book in a date to meet me and let’s discuss what is working and what isn’t working!

This empowers the deaf student to make contact if they feel they need further support or guidance.

This message should be sent termly because even though each student will require varying levels of support, we recommend regular check-ins.

We would recommend you meet with the student at the end of their first month, and then as agreed.

You can ask questions like:

  • How are things going?
  • Is there anything we can help you with?
  • Are you happy with your supplier?
  • Are you happy with your Interpreters/Communication Professionals?

Always remember to arrange these meetings whilst the student has access to a sign language interpreter e.g. directly after a lecture.

Deaf student

  • Sharing their timetable with their suppliers
  • Sharing feedback about support workers with their suppliers
  • Communicating any changes in the timetable
  • Communicating preferred interpreters or support workers
  • Informing the supplier if they are unwell/unable to attend
  • Signing off the booking after it is completed – a text message will be sent to you with the link to sign off

University

  • Sharing the timetable with the supplier
  • Seeking funding to cover the overspend if necessary
  • Providing the supplier with any relevant information to aid them in supporting the student

Supplier

  • Organising support
  • Seeking feedback from the student
  • Sharing spends and budgets with the University

Suppliers are also responsible for communicating with all stakeholders involved in the process:

  • The deaf student
  • The University disability team
  • The University faculties and any other relevant departments
  • Other suppliers if necessary
  • Support workers

As a University, it is worth getting in touch with the suppliers, as you will be working together for the duration of the deaf person’s studies and knowing who you are dealing with really helps.

Also, if the deaf student is receiving both BSL interpreting and additional NMH support services like Notetaking, the DSA spend is likely to be exceeded due to the amount of support. You will therefore want to understand what the overspend is likely to look like so that you can seek the internal budget to cover this.

You will need to provide the supplier with the University policies and procedures aimed at external visitors/attendees to University.

As suppliers, these are shared with all support workers, so that they are aware of how to work safely within the university.

Sign language interpreting works best for deaf students at university when they receive support from a consistent interpreting team. This is because whilst working, the interpreters gain a detailed knowledge of the subject area which builds up over time. This knowledge benefits the student as when certain concepts are referred to, the interpreter is able to do this in context due to the acquired background knowledge.

When the supplier receives a timetable with plenty of notice, they are able to establish a team of regular interpreters. If the timetable is received with less than one months’ notice, it is very difficult to book a consistent team due to the lack of interpreters available.

When a student is in their first year and receiving support for the first time, the supplier will initially provide the most suitably experienced interpreters and then seek feedback from the student to find out which interpreters most suit their needs.

Suppliers will also be checking on the students regularly to check that they are happy with their interpreters. These are the points at which students will inform the suppliers of their preferences of interpreters.

Suppliers will ask for information that will help the Communication Professionals prepare for the booking or lecture. Preparation materials can be anything that helps the Communication Professional to understand what will happen. For example, Communication Professionals may want:

  • Current and previous lecture notes
  • Terminology that is used within the field of study
  • Access to Moodle or other online resources that holds relevant academic information
  • Transcripts of videos or DVDs that will be used

Interpreters don’t know about everything! They may not understand technical jargon or special words used in your work. Preparing before a booking means an Interpreter is more likely to:

  • Feel ready before the booking starts
  • Be more accurate
  • Be able to work more effectively
  • Be more comfortable

This will also make the booking more comfortable for the deaf student and lecturer too.

All of this prep ensures that the interpretation is of the highest quality.

Signed Supported English – SSE when you are speaking and signing at the same Signed Supported English, shortened to SSE, is when you are speaking and signing at the same time.

British Sign Language uses the following grammatical structure:
YOUR – NAME – WHAT

If you were using SSE, you would follow the English grammatical structure:
WHAT IS YOUR NAME?

Sometimes deaf people have a preference for using SSE. This can be if they have grown up using English more than BSL, but still would rather access information using sign language.

We are able to provide Interpreters who provide services using SSE.

You will want to have an awareness of when the student’s DSA budget runs out so that you can make plans to continue the support and cover the overspend.

It is important to have these conversations with suppliers early and on an on-going basis, so that you have an awareness of how the support is being delivered.

It is always helpful for suppliers if the student ticks the consent to share button so that we can contact SFE and find out what is left in the budget.

Without this information, suppliers are unable to contact SFE and request details about spend, which makes it difficult to provide accurate spend information.

It is also important to know that the amount reported by SFE can be inaccurate as the terms go on. This is because of processing times. At any given time, there will be invoices that have not yet been applied to the account.

It is key that universities gain an understanding of forecasted costs from all suppliers, so that these can be put together to have a clear picture of all the costs being billed against the entire DSA budget. For example BSL/English Interpreting and Notetaking.

When we support deaf students, we forecast the total spend detailing both the DSA spend and the excess amount that won’t be covered by DSA.

This is something we do for each and every deaf student we work with, supplying this to the university disability team within one month of the student starting.

In addition we can provide monthly reports to the disability team on actual spend and update the budget to show the estimated forecasted spend.

This makes it much easier for universities to see exactly where the spend amount is and then the university can correspond with any other suppliers to gain similar information.

At terptree, we do this as a matter of process, as this is how we like to work, and I would recommend that this is something you request from all suppliers you are working with.

Yes.

We would always encourage the student to share their DSA2 letter with their chosen suppliers and tick the content box to allow the supplier to contact SFE directly.

The maximum amount of DSA available for full time (FT) students in the annual year of 2022/2023 is £25,575 from Student Finance England (SFE).

For students from Wales, the limit is £30,000 and this is funded by Student Finance Wales (SFW).

This includes Undergraduates, Post Graduates, Equipment and now the general allowance is also incorporated too.

This funding limit includes travel and VAT.

When the supplier receives a timetable with plenty of notice, they are able to establish a team of regular Communication Professionals.
If the timetable is received with less than one months’ notice, it is very difficult to book a consistent team due to the lack of interpreters available.

When a student is in their first year and receiving support for the first time, the supplier will initially provide the most suitably experienced interpreters and then seek feedback from the student to find out which interpreters most suit their needs.

If any sessions are cancelled by the University, whether that be a change of one session, a whole timetable or the lecturer unwell – these will not be covered by DSA funding. These funds will need to be covered by the university.

We ask all universities to sign and agree that any sessions like this will be covered financially by the university.

Generally, SFE will not fund 2 or more booked sessions per NMH support role per term, so any missed sessions exceeding this would be invoiced to the University. For further information.

https://www.practitioners.slc.co.uk/exchange-blog/2015/november/missed-and-cancelled-non-medical-helper-sessions/

If there are any cancellations like this, do inform the supplier as soon as you are made aware of these changes (and encourage the student to do the same) as the supporters are subject to the following cancellation terms which are approved by SFE and are in line with industry standards:

0-7 days cancellation – full fee
7-14 days cancellation – half fee
15 days+ – no cancellation fees

Suppliers would rather cancel the sessions for you with no cancellation fees, so you would need to give the supplier over two weeks notice for this to happen.

These are also the Cancellation terms recommended by the National Union of BSL Interpreters (NUBSLI) – https://nubsli.com/guidance/freelance-interpreter-guidance-pack/

When you meet with the student on a regular basis, if the student is unhappy with the support they are receiving, they are should feel comfortable to quickly communicate this to you.

The student may be unhappy for a number of reasons:

  • Lack of communication from supplier
  • No choice of interpreters
  • Lack of consistency in interpreters
  • Dissatisfied with the quality of interpreters

Before a change in supplier is made, contact the supplier and discuss the issues that the student is facing and try to seek resolution.

Once a plan has been agreed, support the student in ensuring that they can communicate directly with the supplier and continue to receive the right level of service.

If despite discussing the service with the supplier, the student is still not receiving the support they need – there is always the option of changing supplier.

You will need to manage this change so that the student is not left without support during the changeover. Ensure that support with the existing supplier is left in place to an agreed date and then future dates are filled by the new supplier so that there is a smooth transition.

To change suppliers, the student will need to contact their DSA Assessor (who initially assessed them) and explain they would like to change suppliers and discuss the options.

This would more than likely be agreed by the Assessor, and the new supplier would be added to the DSA2 letter. Once this has been received by the student and shared with the new supplier, the support will commence.

Suppliers will not commence support until they have received the DSA2 letter with them named as the supplier. This is due to the risks involved should the supplier book and provide the service and then not be named on the DSA2 letter; there would then be no way of recouping the costs of what has been provided.

For more information and timescales, please contact the students assessor directly.

This is a question that we are asked a lot.

Suppliers providing BSL Interpreting Services charge a 3-hour minimum fee. This is because it is standard practice in this Industry for Sign Language interpreters to charge either a 3-hour minimum or a half day fee.

If an Interpreter had a one-hour booking and a two-hour booking in the afternoon and they were charging by the hour, they would only then be paid for those 3 hours.

Due to the shortage of interpreters, travel is almost always necessary in order to cover two bookings in one day. If the morning booking was in North London at 10am – 11am and then the afternoon 2 hour meeting was in South London from 1 – 3pm, this shows that there is no option for the Interpreter to attend any more bookings.

This ensures that the Interpreter can get to the booking on time.

With University work in particular, the Interpreter needs to spend time preparing – reading all of the lecture notes prior to the session. They will also read about the subject and learn any specialist terminology.

This is Industry standard, so you should find that suppliers will inform you of this throughout the quoting process.

We consider 2 interpreters or co-working, if a booking is going to 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 level of complexity.

Breaks provided every half hour should be in place but if this is not possible then we would look into providing a co-worker. It is really beneficial for a coworker 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. The translation will be at its highest standard as possible this way and ensures the safety and wellbeing of the interpreter.

Here is an example to illustrate this point:

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

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

Yes, terptree only works with Interpreters who are registered with either NRCPD or RBSLI.

NRCPD is The National Register of Communication Professionals working with Deaf and Deafblind People.

And RBSLI is the Regulatory Body for Sign Language Interpreters and Translators.

All BSL Interpreters that are registered with these bodies must abide by a Code of Conduct, have DBS Clearance and Professional Indemnity Insurance (PII).

There is also a complaints procedure for service users, which ensures that Communication Professionals are held accountable to their Code of Conduct.

NRCPD support training professionals and, overall, ensure that a high standard of work is maintained. When choosing an agency to work with, it’s essential to check they work with registered Interpreters ONLY, to confirm the Sign Language Interpreter or other Communication Professional they provide you with, is at a high standard.

There are many different types of Communication Professionals who support deaf people:

BSL Interpreter

British Sign Language (BSL) Interpreters enable communication between deaf and hearing people. This is crucial for those people who use BSL as their first or preferred language.

Electronic Notetaker

Provides comprehensive summary notes at a meeting, conference and also at University lectures, presentations or seminars.

Speech to Text Reporter

STTR’s listen to speech and transcribe the text verbatim in a live environment using a specialist keyboard. The text is displayed on a screen at 200-300 words per minute.

Lipspeaker

Lipspeaker is a hearing person who has been professionally trained to be easy to lipread. They provide communication support for a deaf person by using spoken language and lipreading.

Interpreter for Deafblind People

Deafblind people have different needs and preferences when it comes to communication. Interpreters can work in a hands-on manner, signing on the Deafblind persons’ hands. For those with Ushers, the Interpreter would produce BSL in a smaller signing space to work within the Deafblind persons’ field of vision.

Deaf Interpreter/Translator

Deaf Interpreters are native, first language BSL users. They use their years of experience to produce BSL in a way that is understood more clearly by deaf people. They also translate from written text/English to BSL.

Captioning

Captioning for any pre-recorded material, to make it accessible for deaf people. Captioning is also useful for other disabled audiences and for those whom English is a second language.

Specialist Support Professional

A 1-2-1 service to support deaf students to plan their workload, structure and prepare for assignments and will also support with English use in written work.

Please see more about Different types of Communication Professionals here:
https://terptree.co.uk/universities/different-types-of-communication-professionals/