Communication Professionals for those with hearing loss

Commercial and public services can make themselves more accessible by offering support from a Communication Professional or Language Service Professional.

This might be necessary in situations such as work meetings, job interviews, healthcare consultations and courtroom hearings.

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Speech to Text Reporter (STTR)  If it is easier for you to read rather than listen then STTR support is a service worth knowing about. It involves a skilled professional using a special phonetic keyboard typing up exactly what is being said as it is being said.   

The verbatim text that is produced can be displayed on a computer screen, a large screen or on any other digital device, e.g. a smartphone. 

The STTR is working fast so you may get the odd error. The STTR will include any relevant sounds, such as a door opening or laughter. Find out more at or make a booking at:

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Electronic Note-takers  This is similar to STTR but the professional worker provides a summary of the proceedings by typing it up on a normal laptop computer.

They type fast and the text they produce can be displayed on a computer screen, large screen or any other digital device e.g. smartphone. Find out more at or make a booking at

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Manual Note-takers  This involves the professional worker taking handwritten notes providing a summary of what is said. Find out more at or make a booking at:

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Sign Language Interpreters  These professionals interpret between people who use British Sign Language and those who use spoken English. Find out more at or book at

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Lipspeakers  This involves a trained professional repeating the speaker’s message by moving their lips but without using their voices.

They reproduce the shape of the words with exceptional clarity, the rhythm and stress of natural speech. Lipspeakers also use facial expression and fingerspelling. Find out more at or make a booking at

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Language Service Professionals for deafblind This involves a professional relaying a conversation to someone who has visual and hearing impairment using the deafblind manual alphabet. Find out more at or make a booking at

Are service providers meeting your needs?

Use the Rate & Review Access Tool to share your experiences of how well you feel your needs have been considered and met.

You can read about other people's experiences too. 

Ideas for Ears will encourage service providers to read what’s said and to take action based on the reviews you leave.

Ideas for Ears Access Tool

A list of professionals

The National Register of Communications Professionals lists the names and qualifications of all Communication Professionals. Here's a link.

At work

Are you aware of Access to Work? It will often fund the services of a Communication Professional in work-related circumstances. It may also fund the provision of other technology and equipment.

Access to Work support is available to those in employment and those who are self employed. The support provided is based on an assessment of what you require. This is typically done in your workplace but it is possible to make other arrangements if preferred.

It is well-worth exploring if you are experiencing any difficulties in hearing in a particular situation in the workplace e.g. telephone, meetings, internet-based meetings.

Find out more: