Deaf Students Become First Ever Qualified Interpreters In British Sign Language To American Sign Language

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Five deaf students are the first ever to be officially qualified in interpreting between British Sign language (BSL) and American Sign Language (ASL), after completing a Level 6 NVQ Diploma in Sign Language Interpreting.

Robert Adam, Linda Day, Tessa Padden, Joel Kelhoffer, and Nicholas Padden were presented with their diploma by [sonus], a Southampton-based charity working with deaf people, which also has an approved training centre that runs courses in deaf awareness and BSL. The successful students will be the first with the accredited qualifications to translate for international events, conferences, academic settings and the media.

Robert Adam is currently a researcher at DCAL, and has been a deaf interpreter for many years. He is currently interpreting BSL to ASL in his capacity as a visiting professor in the Department of Linguistics at The Galludet University.

Linda Day, also an experienced deaf interpreter, has seen an increase in the number of bookings since receiving her diploma, as the only person in the South West of England with the qualification.

Tessa Padden has been an interpreter for ITV and BBC, working on a number of different programmes, on and off screen. Her qualification in BSL to ASL will open up more avenues and support her in her role as a sign language and sign linguistics teacher and teacher-trainer.

Until recently, there were no interpreting courses accessible to deaf people and they were excluded from being able to achieve the criteria for NVQ interpreter assessment.Thanks to on-going work by Signature, a national charity and awarding body, which has long been campaigning to improve the standards of communication and access to deaf and deafblind people, this is now changing.

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