Sunday, 2 August 2020

Sticking to the rules.

Published on Facebook how the complaints process works re signing/translation professionals.  ATR decided to put a few questions to them. A number trying to validate in legal situations.

Q1  Is it true none of your accredit professionals will testify what we say is valid or not?  

Q2 Is there NO retrospect validation of the work you carry out? 

Q3 You cannot be called as a witness e.g.? and to all intents and purposes are NOT then 'legal support' to deaf people? 

Q4  Is everything you translate just 'hearsay' and cannot be relied or acted on, as 'proof'?  Is it not a complete lottery if an issue arises between what a deaf person claims he or she said, and what the translator believed was said?  

Q5 Who actually dismisses a translator who doesn't fit the requirements and breaks the rules?  Does your organisation HAVE legal power to do that?

Q6 Are free-lance interpreters immune from your complaints processes?  

Q7 Should complaint or concern differences be facilitated by an INDEPENDENT body, and not you judging your own? to ensure impartiality?

Q8 Should BSL professionals who have NO speciality in medical and legal areas be allowed to assist deaf in those situations?

Unless deaf get a guarantee WITH their support it's a lottery isn't it? And, they are still vulnerable?  

All that may happen is your system will erase them from your lists but they can still carry on surely?    There has been no real discussion taking place with deaf so they can inform professional help what is legally required of them, it is far too simplistic to just declare 'we translate for the deaf', there are life-changing issues involved and they are not being addressed and deaf aren't covered, but then have to rely on the very support they may have an issue with.

NOTES: E.G. The unseemly rows between W.I.T.S. and freelance etc left deaf struggling to get support as your group and others argued about fees.  Also, professionals deserting rural areas because 'there is not enough work or money in it..' DWP demands recently regarding changes to welfare claims found your professionals unable to meet that demand and many deaf suffered as a result. Deaf in Wales had to rely on text support from the RNIB after BSL support you and their charities folded.   These may be questions more aimed AT deaf but a number of issues of BSL support are a complete lottery.  As we all know deaf are failing to USE professional support in favour of complete amateurs or family, you could offer challenges to that and explain how that affects the help they need, calling you in after their family has made a mess of things is an issue.  Also, lobby the NHS and others to offer a BAN on such untrained support being allowed, we know the NHS is colluding with amateurism to save money, but it risks deaf lives. But no demand for your services is valid until we receive a solid base and reassurance on that support provision being actual 'Proof'.

Should video/text recording ALSO be provided and available alongside BSL help to prevent misunderstandings from which a deaf person could suffer unfairly?  And time delays allowed AFTER support has taken place so deaf can verify for themselves?

The DWP has allowed this why are BSL terps working with deaf in the systems not?  It would appear speech to text support where it exists, does not always give the deaf copy either, which suggest they too, are not taking the 'risk' of it being used in any legal sense.  Thus leaving deaf on their own to sort it out.  This means the presence of an Interpreter is not really helpful in a legal situation and may well be an issue.  Deaf people labour under many misconceptions of their support and telling them you decide on whether your own people are guilty or not does not inspire confidence.  

I'd like to see your professionals NOT fraternising with deaf people either, we all know what familiarity breeds.  Rotating BSL support will also prevent that familiarity making issues for your professionals.  We know some deaf would 'prefer' the same terp every time because they follow easier and more comfortable, but this is not going to help them when a situation arises, then, a terp is going to stand back.

Deaf ARE still treating them as 'friends' when clearly that is AGAINST your organisational rules?  To say no professional is allowed to advise is always not true either, it is a NORM when a deaf person is having difficult following, to ask and to then receive advice from a BSL terp.  You explain what you cannot do, but in practice... The lines do not seem clear as to how much 'explanation' constitutes advice.  Should you not say 'Sorry I can not help?' 

The issue would raise serious coverage and identification of what professionalism is in deaf terms, allowing someone qualified to translate BSL with no other checks seems questionable, and independent areas would be asking for a more in-depth description of what BSL support entails.  Nobody is training the deaf to manage their support.  Their work is akin to that of a social worker but with none of their rules.  Worse for the deaf, none of that protection either.

Professionals are saying these are impaired communication individuals and often with poor literacy and understanding so they cannot put themselves on the line at all for them, and to the area most requiring help (not just BSL which is less effective than text if truth be told).

Such support also attends their clubs and homes as well, to say privacy exists as per the professional is not true in those environments at all.  All signers watch each other and the professionals so fully aware what is being said, indeed privacy does NOT exist in a deaf club, because deaf discuss their issues with friends and say 'The interpreter said...'   and invite them to clarify, so should not your professionals be avoiding such areas?