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Deaf and deafblind

Sensory and Autism Services commission and manage sign language interpreting services on behalf of the council from the Royal Association for Deaf People (RAD).

RAD provides different types of interpreting support to enable deaf and deafblind people to access our services, including:

  • British Sign Language (BSL)
  • Irish Sign Language (ISL)
  • Sign Support English (SSE)
  • Deafblind Manual (visual-frame and hands-on)
  • Deaf relay
  • Speech-to-text reporting (STTR)
  • Lip speaking
  • Note taking.

Our policy is 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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Book a sign language interpreter or other language service professionals using the Sign language interpreter booking form for schools (DOC, 85.5 KB) and returning it

Guidance and advice
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Read our guidance on how to book a sign language interpreter (PDF, 295.4 KB) and good practice guidance when using a sign language interpreter (PDF, 180.0 KB).

Our charges
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For standard BSL interpreter bookings, inclusive of travel:

  • Minimum booking is 2 hours (£127.50)
  • Each part or full hour thereafter is charged at £63.50 per hour.

For unsociable hours bookings (from 6pm - 8am Monday to Friday or weekends or bank holidays):

  • Minimum booking is 2.5 hours (£158.75)
  • Each part or full hour thereafter is charged at £63.50 per hour.

For Deaf Relay Interpreters:

  • Minimum booking is 3 hours (£190.50)
  • Each part or full hour thereafter is charged at £63.50 per hour.

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/annual reviews
  • Managed moves
  • Exclusion meetings/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 email 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 as soon as you can with the details of the out of hours booking you made.