iNet Interpreting Ltd is a not for profit company based on a workers’ co-operative principles. Based in Leicester we consist of a group of qualified and trainee interpreters who work closely with the local Deaf community and the Leicester Deaf Action Group.
Our sister companies, Signing Network and BSLNet provide:
British Sign Language tuition
The idea of co-operatives has been around for a long time. They can look like any other business from the outside but utilise flexible business models, different legal structures and are flexible enough to be set up in many ways. Worker Co-operatives are owned and run by their members and they differ from normal businesses in that members receive an equal say and equal share in profits.
Worker Co-operatives exist to serve their members, and this can include customers, employees, and the local community. The members are the owners, with an equal say in what the co-operative does. As well as accessing the services they need, members can help shape the decisions their co-operative makes.
One of the most important concepts of co-operatives is the idea that co-operatives work towards building a better world. Members in a co-operative, therefore, come together with this end in mind and sharing the profits makes it fair.
So, do we make a ‘Profit’? Yes, the surplus that the co-operative makes are social capital. Social capital is a sociological term for the expected collective or economic benefits that can be found in co-operation between individuals and groups. This social capital, therefore, is more than just the surplus money generated from interpreter bookings. The core idea is that social networks have value in, and of, themselves.
By reinvesting this social capital in the company and its members we all benefit. We are a multi stakeholder co-operative, so our members are not only the interpreters but members of the Deaf community who use our services as well. By ensuring that our surplus and other social capital, such as pro bono interpreter time, goes towards providing the Deaf community with offices, a shared space they can use and volunteer interpreters for those life events where interpreter funding is unavailable, for whatever reason, we can all share this social capital.
One-way social capital can be measured is by the amount of trust and ‘reciprocity’ in a community. The norm of generalised reciprocity assists in the solution of problems of collective action. Individuals are transformed from self-seeking and egocentric agents with little sense of obligation to others into members of a community with shared interests, a common identity, and a commitment to the common good. For many interpreters, with their connections to the Deaf community and passion for social justice, this is a model that encapsulates what we do well.
All complaints should be addressed to the Directors in the first instance. You can do this via email, letter, or text and it can be in English or BSL. We will acknowledge receipt of your concern within 48 hrs and respond within 3 days. We may then ask for more details or information so that we can investigate your complaint. We will then ask the parties involved for their input and respond to you within 21 days.
Please note that this does not preclude you from contacting the regulatory bodies with your complaint if it is about a BSL interpreter. However, the regulators often ask if you have approached the agency or interpreter directly first in order to resolve the issue and we positively welcome your approach and are happy to investigate any concern or complaint you might have.
Our bookings team work between 9.30am and 4.30pm Monday to Friday and can be contacted via phone on 0116 326 6066 or email at [email protected]
For a BSL interpreter for out of hours emergencies such as hospital admissions please call or text the iNet Interpreting mobile on 07736 149470.
We primarily provide BSL/English Interpreters but can also assist with booking lip speakers, speech to text reporters, or Deaf Blind interpreters. We operate mainly in Leicestershire but can book communication professionals in your area.
The interpreters who work with us have a wide variety of experience and work in domains such as employment, education, health, community, social services, mental health, Access to Work, theatre and police.
BSL Interpreters are there for any aspect of a person’s life and can interpret in maternity settings, school parent’s evenings, job interviews, Dr’s appointments, mortgage appointments, work meetings, protest marches, political events, and even funerals.
Under the Equality Act 2010 it is considered a ‘reasonable adjustment’ to book a BSL interpreter. The interpreter isn’t just for the Deaf person, it’s also for your staff who cannot sign. Communication is a two-way process and both parties have a right to understand what is being said and to be understood. Indeed, for informed consent to be legally recognised a Deaf person would need to have access to the full information translated into BSL.
Advice from The Equality Commission states that refusing to take phone calls involving a third party from disabled people would be likely to be a breach of the Equality Act.
“A bank has a policy not to accept calls from customers through a third party. This could amount to indirect discrimination against a disabled person with a learning disability who may use a support worker to call the bank. The right sort of approach is to make sure the customer’s records show anyone who deals with them that they may be communicating using a support worker. This is also likely to be a reasonable adjustment.”