Deaf Relay Interpreters


Why do we need a Deaf Relay Interpreter?

There are occasions where an interpreter does not meet the needs of a particular Deaf user, for example when the user has low fluency or idiosyncratic use of British Sign Language (BSL) or because of low cognitive ability. Deaf Relays/Intermediaries work alongside the BSL Interpreter as part of the communication team to ensure the best communication outcome.

Deaf people who have grown up using BSL have very advanced and sophisticated fluency coupled with an innate intuitiveness of their language which means they are often best placed to communicate with other Deaf people who have language difficulties.

They do not advise, but rather convey the message in the same way as an interpreter does. They adapt the style and register of the target language (BSL) significantly. They may also use aids e.g. drawings, dolls, models, objects, diagrams or role-play.




What is Advocacy?

Advocacy is the act of arguing or pleading for something, most commonly a cause, idea or movement. In terms of BSL users, the term relates more specifically to expressing an opinion or view relating to services, choices, rights, opportunities or problems faced by Deaf people.

  • Advocacy can help to give Deaf people control over their own rights.
  • We can provide friendly, independent, experienced advocates for various domains e.g. legal, medical, mental health, employment services etc.
  • Advocacy breaks down barriers, aids the communication process and provides information in a clear, understandable manner for the Deaf person.
  • We can provide a service on a short or long term basis.