Deaf News: Deaf people’s access to BSL interpreters in jeopardy as survey reveals 48% are considering leaving profession

Posted on February 2, 2015

Deaf people’s access to experienced BSL interpreters in the future has been thrown into question after shock figures from the National Union of British Sign Language interpreters (NUBSLI) were revealed.

The results of a survey of 485 interpreters (nearly half of registered NRCPD interpreters) showed 48% of them are thinking about, or already planning, to leave the profession.

82% of those who are thinking of leaving their career as an interpreter said this was because of uncertainty over the future of the profession.

Of those who responded, 93% were fully qualified, with nearly half having over 10 years experience in the profession.

In a post on the Unite for Our Society website, Nicky Evans, the NUBSLI Branch Secretary wrote:

BSL interpreters are experiencing an uncertain time. Recent changes to the Access to Work scheme and now an anticipated introduction of a national framework, is creating a lot of anxiety.

The survey results are extremely worrying, and show that we are at risk of losing our most experience professionals. This would leave the Deaf community in a vulnerable position, and set back access to levels last experienced twenty plus years ago.

The full survey of interpreters’ working conditions can be read by clicking here.

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