We try not to have an interpreter on hand simply on the off-chance. We make sure that all our publicity and invitation information is welcoming and clearly asks whether support such as an interpreter will be needed. It encourages people to make an early request where possible so that we can ensure someone is present. We usually put people on stand-by and cancel them a couple of weeks out if no-one has requested one.
Having said that, we have staff interpreters and use many local interpreters on a regular basis which makes it relatively easy for us to react swiftly if an unexpected need arises.
The issue here is, in my view, one of balance. Obviously the most inclusive way of dealing with this is to have interpreters on hand just in case and so that deaf visitors do not have to make an extra effort over and above those of other visitors. However, interpreters are in short supply - it is sometimes argued that by tying up interpreters with bookings such as these we are depriving that resource to someone who may need that support elsewhere and is unable to find an available interpreter.
....and the team organising the Open Day pays for it, not us.
From: Discussion list for disabled students and their support staff. [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of SA Walker
Sent: 21 February 2007 09:17
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: BSL interpreters
Apologies for the cross posting.
We have been providing BSL interpreters at our open days for many years.
We do this whether or not a potential student has requested this as a matter of good practice.
Unfortunately the BSL interpreter is very rarely, if ever used. The last interpreter who came suggested that there was little point coming in the future unless someone requested one.
Can I ask what the policy of other institutions is?
Also who pays for the interpreter; is it the Disability Office or the university in general?
Many thanks for your time.
I.T.Officer for Disabled People
Ground Floor University Halls
University of Bradford
Tel: 01274 23 6007
Fax: 01274 23 5340
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