Professional BSL Interpreters
With an extensive network of qualified BSL interpreters available across the UK, Prestige Network are perfectly placed to fulfil all of your BSL requirements.
Our interpreters are highly skilled, well-practised at working in stressful or sensitive situations, and are experienced in dealing with a variety of special needs requirements.
Our BSL interpreters can also carry out consecutive or simultaneous interpreting - you can find out which is the best option for you by getting in touch.
About British Sign Language
Sign language is a visual language that uses hand shapes, facial expression, gestures and body language to communicate, rather than relying on the spoken word. British Sign Language - also known as BSL - is the most commonly use form of sign language in the UK.
BSL is the first or preferred language of an estimated 70,000 Deaf people in the UK. BSL is a visual-gestural language, with its own grammar and principles, which are completely different from the grammatical structure of English. Providing BSL interpters often comes within the scope of 'reasonable adjustments' that employers and other organisations are legally requirement make, in order to provide accessibility for everyone. Our BSL guide below refers to this, however if you have any specific queries our team will be able to advise on your particular obligations.
Other sign language systems, such as Signed English or Sign Supported English (SSE), use signs from BSL but follow the word order of spoken English. Interpreting requirements for these languages will be different, so if you are aware that you or the person you're booking for might require them, let our team know so we can accommodate this.
New BSL Contract with the MOD in 2019
As part of their ongoing commitments to provide reasonable adjustments for their employees Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S) - part of the Ministry of Defence - has awarded Prestige Network a unique contract to supply British Sign Language (BSL) and hearing assisted services for at least two years commencing March 2019.
The pan-government contract covers communication support for DE&S employees who are deaf or deafblind including interpreting, translation and scribing services. The services will help DE&S employees in meetings and events BSL, with specific provisions including finger spelling and note-taking at events and assistance in exams.
Prestige Presence at Equality & Diversity Open Day
We're always looking at new ways to engage with the BSL interpreting community and spread the message about the fantastic work they every day.
Recently we attended the first of a two events with the aim of raising awareness surrounding reasonable adjustments that employers are required to make in order to accommodate their employees, specifically the provision of BSL interpreters for hearing impaired staff.
The day was a huge success, with two of our interpreters on site showing attendees how to sign some simple phrases in BSL.
British Sign Language Guide
In order to help our BSL interpreting clients - and any else who might have a requirement - we've assembled a guide to:
- Current use of BSL in the UK
- Requirements to provide BSL interpreting
- Availability of BSL interpreters
- How to get the most out of your interpreting provider
‘Is my organisation obliged to provide BSL interpreting?'
The answer to this will vary, but businesses and other organsations will be required to provide interpreters for hearing impaired employees or customers in certain situtations. Work meetings, solicitors appoinments, and even theatre performances can all come under this, however if you get in touch with the team, we will be able to advise you on your situation.
‘Is BSL different from other sign languages?'
Yes. There are several types of sign language being use across the world. British Sign Language (BSL) was recognised by the government as a language in its own right in March 2003. In Britain the term sign language usually refers to British Sign Language (BSL). BSL is a complete language with a unique vocabulary, construction and grammar.