News & Events

Devon Life

If you don't regularly get the Devon Life magazine, you may not have seen our Article in February's issue.  Firstly you really should read Devon Life it is a great magazine full of stories and information about local people and business, local eating drinking and shopping recommendations and travel tips.

Here is the article we were lucky enough to have featured : -

Six years ago there was a desperate shortage of sign language interpreters in Devon as well as a lack of awareness on both the part of the Deaf clients and service providers of how to use interpreters. Now, the South West benefits from an experienced “one stop shop” for interpreting set up by three practicing interpreters.

Helen Caldwell, Alison Kingdon and Carly Renaud, set up Deafinite Interpreters and worked, at first, out of a tiny rented room with borrowed equipment, kindly loaned by Jonathon Farnhill CEO of Exeter Royal Academy for Deaf Education.

Following the findings of the Living Options Devon research, commissioned by various local and health authorities into the provision of Sign Language Interpreting in Devon, Deafinite was born in October 2007 and has gone from strength to strength. Most recently, being appointed as the preferred interpreter supplier for Devon and Cornwall Police.

Deafinite prides itself on the high quality of its interpreting team and office staff. Talking about the company, director Carly Renaud said: “We have, in addition to me and two other directors, eight in-house staff interpreters and three office staff, as well as a comprehensive database of skilled really supportive local freelancers.

“All of our office staff are required to undergo Deaf Awareness and British Sign Language (BSL) training, as we want our office to be as inclusive as possible and all our interpreters have regular supervisions, observations and training throughout their careers at Deafinite to ensure they are continually developing and broadening their skills.”

Deafinite is a unique agency, because it works with the booker to expertly match skills and experience and secure the right interpreter for whatever assignments come in.

Carly continues: “We are proud to be a truly local agency, our headquarters are in Exeter and we are very involved in local life. We have forged links with many local organisations and currently have preferred suppliers’ status with Exeter Royal Academy for Deaf Education, Living Options Devon, Devon County Council, NHS England Devon and Cornwall, Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital, Torbay Hospital, Torbay Care Trust, TTC 2000, and Exeter City Council.

“Although we are a community-based agency at heart, we provide interpreters across a huge range of settings including theatre performances, high-level conferences and even the occasional bit of TV work.

“We have come a long way, but there is still a long way to go. We don't feel like we are anywhere near having conquered the market and believe that this is predominantly an awareness issue. So, we are always working hard to promote awareness with service providers of their obligation to make their services accessible for deaf users, with employers about the access to work scheme which funds interpreters for deaf people in the workplace and of the importance of only using registered interpreters.

“We are still a small business and it hasn't been an easy ride, there have been plenty of bumps along the way, but there are also so many things of which we are really proud.

“We have an amazing bunch of people. Everyone works really hard, but we do have a lot of fun, we regularly make time to have social catch ups, and we really do function together as a team.

“In the future we hope to continue growing and providing the high standard of service we have become known for, bringing more outstanding interpreters into our region and increasing awareness across the board especially within public sector services, and to just keep on enjoying what we all do, no day is ever the same!”

 

 

 

 

We are the preferred supplier for the following service providers

  • Devon County Council
  • NHS Devon
  • Exeter City Council
  • Royal Devon and Exeter - NHS Foundation Trust
  • South Devon Healthcare - NHS Foundation Trust
  • Torbay NHS - Care Trust
  • Exeter Royal Academy for Deaf Education
  • Living Options

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