Sign Language Interpreters and Broken Microphones


Too often we can’t see the Sign Language interpreter on a live TV shot.

Imagine if a speaking interpreter suddenly found the microphone was broken. I think the interpreter would stop interpreting until the mike was fixed.

So when a Sign Language interpreter realizes they are not in the camera shot maybe they should stop until it’s fixed. And maybe they should make a fuss about it.

It’s a big ask for a Sign Language interpreter to be the Director like a movie Director, but I don’t see an alternative.

Maybe before the cameras roll the Sign Language interpreter should get the speakers’ agreement and the agreement of the media on site that they will be included in the shot.

Maybe a little more assertiveness should be encouraged to make this happen. Maybe they could turn up with a water pistol like BSL comedian John Smith and squirt them? That would be funny and would defuse the situation. It would get the message across. They should announce before the cameras roll that they are armed and dangerous. Squirt! Squirt! Squirt!

This is in addition to getting authorities to agree on a code of practice for using Sign Language interpreters.

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