The UNCRPD and “professional” sign language interpreter provision
Deaf people are doubly protected both via human rights and disability legislation to access all parts of society through direct service delivery and via interpreters. Alongside the Deaf community and its representative organizations, interpreter agencies are the main agents for changes in service provision, ensuring that the policy and legislation they are aware of are implemented. This paper documents international (United Nations and European Union) instruments, and national (specifically United Kingdom) legislation relevant to the provision of sign language interpreters. The paper then describes a small (non-representative) United Kingdom survey, giving an indication of interpreters’, and agencies’ understanding of who should be booked to work as ‘professional’ interpreters and how the term ‘professional’ is understood. Finally, the paper discusses consideration for future provision of sign language interpreters in light of the survey’s findings.