Sign Language is a visual means of communication, which can be identified using gestures, facial expressions and body language.
In the UK, British Sign Language (BSL) is officially recognised as the second widest used language after English. BSL follows its own grammatical structure and syntax, which is not dependent on spoken English language.
It is a requirement for interpreters who sign BSL to have a thorough understanding of the complexity and variety of words, as cities across the country occasionally sign differently for the same words.
The first British records of sign language date back to the 16th century. There is an assumption that hearing-impaired individuals have always used signs to communicate but until the 19th century, most lived in scattered villages/towns and rarely encountered other people who were deaf or hard of hearing.
The introduction of residential schools in the 19th century was pinnacle and allowed the deaf community to unite and socialise in an environment with people akin. In 1975, the terms ‘British Sign Language’ and ‘BSL’ were established, leading to an increased awareness of the language.
After an abundance of campaigning from both hearing and non-hearing supporters, British Sign Language was finally recognised by the UK Government as an official minority language on March 18th, 2003 and is now regarded as an official British language.
How can thebigword help?
With growing demand for BSL-trained interpreters, organisations need to consider their commitment and requirements to enable access to suitable services.
At thebigword, we provide interpreting services for a variety of industries, such as legal and health, to break down communication barriers between people who are deaf and hearing.
Our video interpreting services enable us to deliver Video Sign Language at the click of a button. No specialist equipment is required, just a computer, webcam and access to the internet – making it accessible anywhere, with no geographical limitations.
thebigword’s BSL interpreters are high-skilled professionals, directly recruited from the NRCPD database (the national register of communications professionals working with the deaf/deafblind). Our strong reputation amongst the BSL interpreting community as well as our NHS and local government clients comes from providing only the highest quality interpreting.
thebigword provide also Deaf Relay Interpreters for members of the Deaf community who communicate through means other than BSL. These highly skilled professionals provide specialised interpreting services for individuals who are Deaf but do not speak BSL fluently.
Find out more about thebigword’s British Sign Language Service through our dedicated website page: British Sign Language (thebigword.com)