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The Deaf Academy works closely with a range of specialist staff to support your development and independence and interpreters play a key role in this. We have a strong partnership with Deafinite Interpreters Ltd (Deafinite) who are an independent specialist BSL/English interpreting agency based on the Deaf Academy site.

Interpreters need to have good generic training and a high level of skills working between two languages, English and BSL, and two cultures, Deaf and hearing. Qualifications are required in the languages an interpreter works between along with intensive interpreter training (NVQ Level 6 and/or Post Graduate certification).

Interpreter Support

Interpreters work with both students and staff at the Deaf Academy. Interpreters can moderate their language production to accommodate the needs of the audience, whatever situation they are in. This can range from storytelling for reception classes to executive trustees board meetings. Deafinite also work with any external visitors to the Academy. 

The role of an interpreter is important for many reasons, particularly in situations where using a CSW (Communication Support Worker) may not be suitable.  For example at your annual review where the CSW has been working with you all year, it would not be appropriate for the CSW to interpret this.  It is vital to have an impartial interpreter.  

Also, if a representative from the Police or Social Services, or a Health Professional comes to visit the Academy to give advice or guidance on any subject it is important to have a qualified interpreter present for this. This is to ensure the correct terminology can be used and impartiality maintained.

It is also good practice for you to get used to seeing and using interpreters, as it is likely that you will be using them when you leave the Academy as a young adult. We believe it is essential for you to understand about your rights to access interpreters for health appointments, job interviews and in the workplace etc. contributing to your overall progress and independence.   

All of the interpreters employed by Deafinite are NRCPD (National Registered Communication Professionals Working with Deaf and Deafblind People) registered. This means that all Deafinite staff are DBS checked, are appropriately trained and qualified for the work, must complete mandatory CPD (Continuing Professional Development) and have insurance cover.  In addition all interpreters are accountable for their practice and abide by a Code of Conduct that ensures competency, impartiality and confidentiality.  If you are not happy with the service provided you can give feedback or make a complaint.

For more information about Deafinite and interpreters, please visit the Deaf Services section of our site.