If there is one report you need to read this month or even this year – this is the one: A Dossier of disgrace
Geraldine O’Halloran, Co-founder of StopChanges2AtW gives us her view on the recently published “Dossier of disgrace” by the National Union of British Sign Language Interpreters (NUBSLI).
If there is one report you need to read this month or even this year – this is the one. More importantly, if, like me, you are a Deaf BSL user and a regular user of English/Interpreting support – then even more so.
For me, my main reaction after reading it was one of shock, what was shocking to me, was how little I knew about what was happening in the background to the communication support that I rely on every day. For work, to access to health/medical appointments, attending meetings, and for those social occasions like, talks at museums and art galleries and the like.
This report highlights several areas which Deaf/BSL users need to be concerned about. In short, the National Framework Agreement (NFA) is a business model for the interpreting agencies being awarded contracts. What the findings in this report highlight is it is unsustainable for BSL/English interpreters and Deaf customers that they have repeatedly been let down and have lost any choice and control over the support they need and the interpreters they wish to use. This means in future Deaf/BSL users like you and me, will have no control over who we want to book. Even more worrying is that there is evidence that untrained or under qualified communication support are going on bookings where their level of skill is not matched to the job. For example, court interpreting that requires a high level of skill and there is evidence that inexperienced interpreters and unqualified communication support are being sent to do this work. The same is for Child and Adult safeguarding work. People like you and me weren’t consulted about this – we weren’t invited to the consultation. The government never asked us what we thought of this NFA or even if we wanted these changes.
The worrying thing is skilled and experienced interpreters are leaving the profession for a whole range of reasons – they are experiencing pay cuts, demanded to work with unskilled communication support – putting their professional integrity on the line, the list goes on.
The report highlights what the National Union of British Sign Language Interpreters (NUBSLI) have been trying to do the ensure that the standards of communication support we need remain high and meets our needs. We need to make sure we are in control of our communication support and back what NUBSLI are doing here.
There is a BSL version that provides clear information about the key areas of the report. If you value the BSL/English interpreting support, you receive every day – then read this report.