I love this blog post- read it now.
Read it? On second thoughts, I love it and hate it in equal measure. I love it because it’s very sensibly taken nice reliable data, compared it spatially (because who doesn’t love a nice map) and drawn some great conclusions. I hate it because the census data for England and Wales seems reliable which makes it all ‘oh so simple’ and I’m jealous! This method trusts that asking what a persons ‘main language’ is will successfully identify people that require sign language interpreters to access non specialist services- which is kind of fair enough. It’s a bit crude in that it will also capture CODAs and other hearing people that consider sign language their ‘main language’ but it serves a purpose and I like it. What I don’t like is the fact the Northern Irish census asked the same question and returned the magic number of… *drum roll*… 477 sign language users. Not just BSL, not just ISL… ALL sign language users. *facepalm* So here I am, 3 years later, still working to find out what the craic is for deaf sign language users in Northern Ireland. One thing I will say about the interpreter ratio- by this method it comes out as 19.9 sign language users/interpreter and I think that’s a ratio we would be delighted to reach in Northern Ireland!
Thanks for your stats, graphs and maps Terpatron 9000. I’m off to try and ‘de-green’ myself- jealousy isn’t flattering or so I’m told.