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04 January 2022
This week, we are marking the highly significant milestone of 40 years since CACDP (now Signature) established the first register of sign language interpreters in 1982.
112 DWEB qualification holders became founder members of the Register of Interpreters and 9 CACDP qualified interpreters joined them later that year. Only one registrant who was a member in 1982 is still on the NRCPD registers to this day and this is Sister Maria McCready.
The register offered, for the first time, a reliable standard of competence and choice of qualified sign language interpreters. This was followed in later years by registers for Sign Language Translators, Interpreters for Deafblind People, Lipspeakers, Speech to Text Reporters and Notetakers. In 2009 Signature set up NRCPD to run the registers (as part of Signature). NRCPD took on the registers and the regulatory responsibilities when it was established as its own charity in 2017.
So at the same time, we congratulate Signature on their 40th anniversary as a charity. The driving force behind the first register of interpreters was Stewart Simpson OBE, the founder of CACDP. He fiercely believed that deaf people had the right to the best possible communication no matter their method of communication and had total conviction in the need to improve communication between deaf and hearing people.
The registers for all the language service professionals developed over the years from the promising early start for interpreters in 1982, through decades of hard work and dedication from those in CACDP, and those who worked with them, as new registers were added. As the inheritor of that legacy, NRCPD recognises the commitment of them all, celebrates this 40-year anniversary and looks forwarding to growing more registration categories and to helping develop those professions, ultimately to build better inclusion for Deaf and Deafblind people.