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October 2022
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Lack of understanding about the cost of communication support

Access to Work says communication professionals are too expensive. This oversimplifies the situation of a complex marketplace and a highly trained profession.

The average freelance earnings of a sign language interpreter are around £25-30,000 a year, with an average hourly rate of £30. For a part time, freelance, highly qualified profession, that’s not unreasonable.

In any case, cutting funding for communication support is not the way to go about dealing with a market problem, if there is one. It has unintended impacts, such as deaf people losing their jobs.

Another problem is Access to Work refusing to fund two communication professionals for a single setting, saying one is sufficient if there are regular breaks. This shows a lack of understanding of the nature of the work: interpreting is mentally and physically draining.

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