A UK woman who works with the deaf has been recognized for her work by the Economist Intelligence Unit's Dynamics Change Ambassadors Awards. Cheryl Cullen was among the top five in the ‘No Boundaries’ category, with Anandha Ponnampalam of Sapient Global Markets winning the contest. Cullen was recognized by business the award started a company called Clarion Interpreting which provides BSL interpreting services and helps the deaf find employment. Clarion has found work for 250 people and permanent employment for 50 of them, which is equal to the industry average in the UK. Read more about the awards here.
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The opportunity to train BSL interpreters is being taken away "and it's an outrageous loss – in terms of deaf people being denied communication, and in terms of hearing people shutting ourselves off from the world of the deaf.." The Guardian takes a look at why that's happening here.
A UK charity called Sonus is graduating 5 people which it says are the first to be qualified as interpreting BSL (British Sign language and ASL (American Sign Language). The grads are getting diplomas in Sign Language Interpreting. They are qualified to translate at international events, conferences, academic settings and the media. Read more about Sonus here.
A UK hospital is being accused of failing to provide an interpreter for a deaf patient--and possibly performing surgery without her consent. Scotland’s Public Services Ombudsman, Jim Martin, says the woman was unable to communicate with the staff of Ninewells Hospital located in Dundee for 12 days. During her hospital stay, the unnamed patient had her appendix removed. Martin is accusing the hospital of not putting enough effort into finding an interpreter. The patient used BLS (British Sign Language) and had little lip-reading ability. She handed staff members interpreter cards and even pointed at a poster on the wall repeatedly. It said the hospital would provide an interpreter when needed. But it turns out the outdated poster included the wrong contact information. Martin says Section 20 of the Equality Act of 2010 clearly says that when the staff was first alerted to the need, there needed to be a plan put in place to provide the patient with the means necessary to communicate with the staff. In this case, a sign language interpreter. The hospital eventually did make two calls to a terp service over the weekend, but without success. Hospital officials complain there is a shortage of interpreters in the UK but agreed to change their procedures--including allowing patients to schedule an interpreter themselves and training staff on the use of basic sign language. Read the PDF report here.
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Finding ASL and BSL signs for scientific terms is sometimes difficult. But that's beginning to change thanks to the Internet and crowd sourcing projects at universities. Read more about the effort in a New York Times article here.
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