New d/Deaf and deafblind communication service for Kent residents launches

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A new dedicated interpretation and communication service for d/Deaf, deafblind or hard of hearing Kent residents has been launched today by Kent County Council (KCC).

Kent Deaf Interpreting Service (KDIS) is a small team of in-house professionally trained and registered British Sign Language interpreters backed by a framework of local interpreters and agencies to provide 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

The introduction of video interpreting is also planned for 2020.

Penny Southern, Corporate Director for Adult Social Care and Health said: “It is currently estimated that 9 million people in the UK are deaf or hard of hearing. Only 30-45% of the English Language can be understood by lip speaking alone and with a total of just 198 registered British Sign Language interpreters in the South East, services are in high demand.

“This new, local approach will enable stronger links and greater flexibility between the Kent d/Deaf and deafblind community, interpreters and specialist agencies improving negotiations and the fulfilment of more bookings for Kent residents.”

Kent Deaf Interpreting Services are provided on behalf of KCC and partner organisations including Kent Police, Kent Fire & Rescue, Mental Health services and Dover District Council.

Services were previously provided by Royal Association for Deaf people who will continue to provide an excellent out of hours service.

For information about KDIS, contact details or to book an interpreter visit:



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