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      Tips for working with communication professionals

      Using a registered communication professional at work, in education, for medical appointments and for meetings with officials can help people with hearing loss to participate fully.

      Tips when booking a communication professional?

      Communication or language professionals include interpreters for deafblind people, lipspeakers, notetakers, sign language interpreters, sign language translators and speech to text reporters. They are in demand, so book early. Give as much information about the assignment as you can, including:

      • the date, time, duration, venue and number of people attending
      • preparation materials for the assignment so that they know what to expect and can practise any technical terms or jargon.

      Usually, you’ll need to book a communication service for at least two hours. For longer assignments, you may need to book two communication professionals, who'll take turns. All communication professionals will need a break roughly every 30 minutes.

      Tips to make sure you get a good service?

      Always choose a registered professional – that way, you can be confident that they:

      • have achieved the relevant qualifications, knowledge and skills
      • work to recognised standards
      • follow a formal code of ethics
      • are subject to a complaints procedure
      • have had Disclosure and Barring Service – DBS (formerly Credit Reference Bureau – CRB) checks
      • are covered by professional indemnity insurance.

      To check if a communication professional is registered, contact The National Registers of Communication Professionals working with Deaf and Deafblind People, or in Scotland the Scottish Association of Sign Language Interpreters

      Tips for working with a communication professional

      • Remember, it's not possible for the communication professional to interpret when more than one person is speaking
      • The communication professional will communicate everything that is said or signed. This includes audible asides
      • In any interpreting process, there is a slight delay while the interpreter translates, so bear this in mind, especially in question and answer sessions.

      To find out more about the different types of communication professionals that are available and to book a service through Action on Hearing Loss, visit Communication support

      You can also download our factsheet Using communication support