It has surely eluded no one: the sign language interpreter during the press conferences held by Dutch Premier Mark Rutte, the ministers, and the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and Environmental Protection (RIVM). The sign language interpreter (officially known as a Dutch Sign Language interpreter) takes a prominent place behind the speaker so that the deaf and hard of hearing can also follow what is being said during the press conference.
Why is this so important? Information must be available to everyone at all times, including the deaf and hard of hearing. Among other things, the Dutch Sign Language interpreter (NGT) provides the communication between deaf people and those who are hard of hearing and hearing persons. The interpreter also translates for others, such as hearing sign language users, individuals with a learning disability, and people with a speech impediment. The importance of these interpreters is also underscored by the statutory recognition of Dutch Sign Language at the end of 2020.
Not all those who are hard of hearing were born deaf. Many deaf people became so at a later age. A speech-to-text reporter is often used for those who have suddenly become deaf or those who have become so later in life. The speech-to-text reporter writes down everything that is being said by using a Velotype or Veyboard, which is a keyboard specially designed for this purpose. Speech-to-text reporters base themselves on spoken text, which is then converted to written text. People who were born deaf have never heard spoken text and therefore they often miss the context of the words used. Often a Dutch Sign Language interpreter is used for this audience.
Proper preparation is essential. If the interpreter is able to prepare well by receiving a briefing in advance, you can expect an even higher quality of the service. We also ask you to indicate specialist vocabulary ahead of time and to provide us with documents which the interpreter can use to familiarise themselves. After all, some words have no immediate sign language available for them. This allows the interpreter to be able to thoroughly prepare.
Will deaf persons or those who are hard of hearing be present at your event? Or are they actively involved? We are happy to be of service to you in this respect.
Feel free to contact us on +31 (0)85 049 92 49 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.