In the UK for deaf people who have cognitive impairments and who cannot speak coherently the preferred method of communication is British Sign Language. Anyone who has seen a deaf person with this disability and seen how they make hands signs will know what is entails. Essentially it is a visual language and will involve them using hand shapes along with facial expressions and a certain amount of body movements. For those who wish to lean sign language, it is taught at specialist deaf schools, where they have their own curriculum’s and examinations.

To communicate with a deaf person you would normally need a British sign language interpreter. These tend to be registered with the Member of the Register of Sign Language Interpreters . They carry out important work, for instance in medical translation, or in dealing with deaf children. You can find many sign language interpreter jobs with public sector employers like the NHS or charity organizations.

You should note that the sign language used in the United Kingdom is slightly different from what is used in Europe or the USA. Indeed there are different dialects with in the UK itself, depending in which part of the country you live. It is estimated that over 70,000 people affected with deafness in the UK use BSL to communicate.

Further information:

Association of Sign Language Interpreters
Fortuna House
South Fifth Street
Milton Keynes
Telephone: 0871 474 0522