Handling an appointment or meeting with a deaf customer might seem like a tricky prospect – here’s a guide to what the options are.
Depending on the needs of your client there may be one or more options available to make your appointment or meeting run smoothly and to ensure that your message is communicated quickly and accurately. It helps to know at the outset if your client is deaf, is also blind, has difficulty speaking or is just hard of hearing and of course, whether they have a preferred method of communication.
British Sign Language is a popular means of communication using hand gestures, facial expressions, and body language which is used mainly by people who are deaf or have hearing impairments.
Makaton is a language using signs and symbols. It is designed to support spoken language and the signs and symbols are used with speech, in spoken word order. It is used mostly by people who have difficulty speaking.
Braille is a tactile reading and writing system which uses raised dots to represent the letters of the print alphabet. It is used mainly by blind and visually impaired people
A lipspeaker is a hearing person who has been professionally trained to be easy to lipread. Lipspeakers are mainly used by deaf people and those who are hard of hearing.
- Speech to Text Reporting
A speech-to-text reporter is a person who listens to what is being said and inputs it, word for word, using an electronic shorthand keyboard. Their keyboard is linked to a computer, which converts this into properly spelled words which can then be read by a deaf or hard-of-hearing person.
Regardless of the type of interpreter needed, it’s important that they have relevant experience in the subject matter of your appointment or meeting whether that’s marketing, technical, legal, financial or medical to ensure that they can understand and correctly communicate the terminology.
It’s also worth considering whether your subject matter is of a sensitive nature, especially for legal or medical assignments and therefore, if a male or a female interpreter would be better suited to the communication task.
Interpreters can usually be booked by the hour or for longer periods if required. In addition to the cost of the interpreting, you may need to allow for expenses such as parking or refreshments and also travel to and from the venue. If your appointment runs over several days you may also need to provide suitable local accommodation for the interpreter if they have traveled a considerable distance.
So, if you need an interpreter for a meeting with a deaf client, call us for a “no obligation” quote today on +44 (0)1562 748778 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.