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Deaf and deafblind

From 1 July 2019, KCC now has it’s own dedicated Interpreting and Communication support for Kent residents who are d/Deaf and deafblind.

Kent Deaf Interpreting Service (KDIS)
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We have a small team of in-house BSL interpreters, backed up by a framework of local interpreters and agencies to provider different types of communication support, including:

  • British Sign Language (BSL)
  • Deafblind Manual (visual-frame and hands-on)
  • Social haptic communication
  • Manual and electronic note taking
  • Lip speaking (English and other languages)
  • Palantypists and speech-to-text-reporting (STTR)
  • Note taking.
  • Documentation translation and audio-visual transcription
  • In-vision translation

From 2020 we also plan to introduce Video Interpreting – more details to follow!

Our policy is that we only use professionally trained and registered interpreters. This means an adult, friend, child or non-qualified member of staff may not act as an interpreter

Please make sure you read the document 'Good practice when using a sign language interpreter with Deaf and Deafblind people'.

Booking a sign language interpreter
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Please see the Accessing Kent Deaf Intepreting Service guidance (PDF, 347.4 KB) to help you book the right support

To book an interpreter please contact our Booking Co-ordinator on:

Email: BSLInterpreting@kent.gov.uk
Telephone: 03000 42 13 44

Guidance and advice
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Read our Accessing Kent Deaf Intepreting Service guidance (PDF, 347.4 KB) and good practice guidance when using a sign language interpreter (PDF, 180.0 KB).

Our charges
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Please telephone 03000 42 13 44 to enquire about charges, we will be happy to help!

Cancellation charges may apply as follows:

  • 0-7 day’s notice - full fee is payable
  • 8-14 days notice - half the fee is payable.

If your school needs an interpreter to support parental attendance and full participation at any of the following types of meetings, funding will be provided by the Kent County Council's Specialist School Service:

  • Statement reviews and annual reviews
  • Managed moves
  • Exclusion meetings and attendance concerns
  • Planning transition to new schools regarding Special Educational Needs (SEN)
  • School-aged team around the child.

For all other types of meetings appropriate for the whole school community schools are obliged under the Equality Act to provide funding from their own school budget. These events include:

  • parents' consultation meetings
  • school plays
  • assemblies
  • social evenings.

Social Care, Health and Wellbeing (SC) will invoice the school directly for these assignments.

Contact us
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Please call us on 03000 42 13 44 or email BSLinterpreting@kent.gov.uk with any queries.

Call the 24 hour emergency service during out of hours (voice/SMS) on 07974 325563.

If you need an interpreter out of hours email BSLinterpreting@kent.gov.uk as soon as you can with the details of the out of hours booking you made.