1 GENERAL REQUIREMENTS
1.1 The form of sign language provision
Sign language may be broadcast in an “open” format (i.e. visible to all viewers) or in a “closed” format (i.e. available to be added as an option in the receiver).
1.2 Choice of sign language
The main body of the intended audience uses British Sign Language (BSL) as its most accessible format. The choice of sign language should reflect this allowing for regional sign language variations within regional programmes. It should be noted that sign language is a visual language with a unique syntax having its own independent grammar and vocabulary.
1.3. Intended Audience
Where practicable the style of interpreter or presenter should be appropriate for the intended audience
1.4 Off-screen indications
The sign language interpreter or presenter should indicate the presence of off-screen sounds (eg. a ringing telephone, the knocking of a door or a gun shot) where these are important to the understanding of the programme.
1.5 Signing competence
Sign language interpreters should sign with a level of competence and fluency at least equivalent to the minimum standard of Registered Qualified Interpreters as set out by the Council for the Advancement of Communication with Deaf People (CACDP) or The Scottish Sign Language Interpreters. It is appreciated however that in the early years of the service until sufficient people attain such proficiency this may not always be practicable. For presenters, narrators and reporters the sign language should be of native competency standard. They should also be able to communicate effectively through the medium of television.
Apart from interpretation of live programmes, where it might be impractical, sign language interpretation should start at the same time as speech. The use of autocues has been found to be a useful aid to deaf interpreters and can help towards synchronism. The timing of signed sentences should be as close to speech as possible. Equally with sign language presentation a “voice over” sentence should also be as close to the sign language as possible. It should be noted however that sign language and English have a different grammar structure so that the two cannot match each other directly. Every effort, where practicable, should be made to provide equivalent information to all viewers.
Broadcasters should monitor the effectiveness of the service through contact with deaf people and their representatives.
1.8 Apology for loss of service
Where practical a visual caption should be displayed when there is a breakdown in the service.