Mourners have to pay out additional fees for BSL interpreters at funerals, a charity has disclosed.

DSN, a Cheshire-base sensory loss charity, said the additional expense for those arranging funerals if they have a member of the congregation who has a hearing loss and needs a loop system or a British Sign Language (BSL) interpreter is “unacceptable”.

Gill Reeder, Operations Executive said: “Deafness always has been a hidden disability and often gets overlooked by venues and organisations, unfortunately. Whilst nearly every venue will have a ramp for those in a wheelchair and adapted toilets, we’ve seen cases where venues have even charged people who need to use a loop system, for example. This is against the law and something we are working to eradicate. The idea that these inadequacies are now affecting families of those who have died is really something we need to put a stop to, sooner rather than later.”

A crowdfunding pot has been launched by DSN this week with the help of Dignity Funerals, W.Williams & Sons Funeral Directors on Chester Road, Little Sutton, who have kindly kickstarted the fund with a £200 donation.

Laura Southby from W.Williams & Sons Funeral Directors said: “From crematoriums, churches and other sacred venues, an interpreter is needed wherever a person who has a hearing loss and uses BSL, is. No matter what anyone’s disability, they should be allowed to mourn and understand the service and it’s a shock that this is still an issue for mourners in 2020. We hope that by starting off the fund that many other funeral directors and members of the public will boost the pot and help to take out an unnecessary cost for families at the most significant time.”

The average costs for a BSL interpreter are around £80 per hour and there is usually an additional charge for travel time and expense too. Anyone who needs an interpreter for a funeral and would like to seek some advice, can contact DSN on dsn@dsnonline.co.uk or call 0333 220 5050.

DSN
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