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British Sign Language Interpreting - a profession in decline….

The National Union of British Sign Language interpreters (NUBSLI) has become increasingly concerned over anecdotal evidence of interpreters wanting to leave the profession.

The Branch therefore decided to conduct a survey of the profession as a whole (not only NUBSLI members), in order to give a clearer understanding of the current situation.

From the thousand or so registered interpreters, 485 took part in our survey - this is a very high response rate and in itself illustrates the level of anxiety and concern that currently exists.
 The headlines from the survey are that 48% of the profession are thinking about or already actively seeking to leave the profession. Of those:

•    93% are fully qualified
•    49% have over 10 years experience
•    15% have over 20 years experience

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.  Read the full report here  

Nicky Evans
NUBSLI Branch Secretary

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