Language Service Professionals (LSPs)

Language Service Professionals are people who provide a communication support service to enable deaf people and hearing people to communicate with each other.

Other terms for Language Service Professionals that may beused are Communication Professionals and Human Aids to Communication.

Language Services Professionals work in a variety of different roles. Below is a brief description of what they do:

Lipspeaker – Lipspeakers face the deaf person and use clear lip patterns to repeat what is being said by a third person. They may repeat verbatim or pare things down whilst keeping the meaning that the speaker intended.  You can find more information about lipspeakers from the Association of Lipspeakers.

Manual notetaker – A manual notetaker takes handwritten notes, providing the deaf person with a summary of what is said. Depending on the situation, the notes can be read as they are written and/or can be used later for reference.

Electronic notetaker – An electronic notetaker provides a summary of what is being said. The notetaker uses a laptop computer and specialist software, linked to a second laptop used by the deaf person. The deaf person reads the notes on screen and can interact. It may be possible to take have a copy of the notes to take away.

Speech-to-text reporter – A speech-to-text reporter uses a special keyboard to type what is said, word-for-word, at a speed of 200 words per minute or more. The deaf person reads the resulting text on screen. They may also be called stenographers or Palantypists.

Cued speech transliterator – A cued speech transliterator uses clear lip patterns, together with eight different handshapes (called ‘cues’) to report what is said. This service is mainly used by deaf children, but some deafened adults have found Cued Speech to be helpful alongside lipreading.

You can find more information on Cued Speech from the Cued Speech Association UK.

BSL/English interpreter – A BSL/English interpreter enables sign language users to communicate with hearing people, and vice-versa. Most BSL/English interpreters work from spoken English, and have good hearing.

Deafblind communicator guide – A deafblind communicator guide helps people who are both deaf and blind to take part in everyday activities, using a range of communication skills.
Deafblind interpreter (manual) – A deafblind interpreter uses the deafblind manual alphabet to form letters on a deafblind person’s hand, spelling out what a third person is saying.

Who pays for Language Service Professionals?

Generally it is the service providers who are responsible for the cost of providing a language service professional, but it is wise to check who is paying beforehand.

Register of Language Service Professionals

There is a register of Language Service Professionals – The National Register of Communication Professionals working with Deaf and Deafblind People (NRCPD). Their website can be viewed here: NRCPD website