Exciting News – We have Moved!!

Hello to each and every one of our valued centres.

iBSL are very pleased to announce that while we have been in lockdown, we have been extremely busy and have some exciting news to share.

Firstly, we have moved! Yes, we have moved into a brand new office complex in Chorley, Lancashire.  iBSL is now part of the Strawberry Fields Digital Hub complex!

iBSL Office - Strawberry Fields Digital Hub

Strawberry Fields Digital Hub is a brand new European funded office complex – the move will allow iBSL to streamline our services and ensure iBSL becomes a paper free Awarding Organisation in the near future.

We are also busy preparing a brand new interactive website with plans in place to develop a brand new digital Learning Hub for both centres and learners alike! Watch this space for updates in both BSL and English.

Here are the contact details you should use to contact iBSL from today – please update your records:

iBSL, Ground Floor, Office 8, Strawberry Fields Digital Hub, Euxton Lane, Chorley, PR7 1PQ

Main Switchboard telephone number (admin team):- 01257 221326

Whatsapp video for BSL users:- 07502 037270

email: admin@ibsl.org.uk

We can also correspond via Zoom.

There is no need to book an interpreter if you want to contact us, the administration team are all deaf BSL users, our Academic, Quality & Assurance Officer and is a Deaf BSL user and our Executive Director is also a Deaf BSL user.  We have a team of qualified BSL interpreters in the office from 9 – 4pm daily too!

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The COVID-19 pandemic has brought additional disadvantage and discrimination to Deaf people in the UK

Dear all

Here is a link to the BSL video: https://youtu.be/wuA4TV_SO4o and below is the transcript. We will be sharing the post on our facebook and twitter channels at 11am today.

Following concerns expressed by two members of the Bristol Deaf community, Jennie Webber and Linda Day, regarding the Bristol Nightingale Hospital, a joint press release has been endorsed by the Royal Association for Deaf people (RAD), a leading Deaf organisation, and iBSL, one of the leading British Sign Language awarding bodies, in support of the statement below:

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought additional disadvantage and discrimination to Deaf people in the UK. Throughout the pandemic, Deaf people have had to rely on local organisations and charities to create accessible information and content. Information on the virus has not been made readily available in British Sign Language (BSL) and this can be evidenced through the ‘Where is the Interpreter’ campaign, which seeks to address the fact that the Government’s daily briefings were not translated into BSL. In this instance, we are concerned about the lack of access to accessible information in hospitals and healthcare settings.

BSL is a rich and complex language with its own grammar and structure.  It is not a signed equivalent of English and is, in fact, the first or preferred language of over 125,000 people in the UK.

It is paramount that Deaf people have accessible information in hospitals and healthcare settings.  Without it, their health and wellbeing is at greater risk. For example, without a BSL Interpreter, a Deaf patient may not understand a written treatment consent form – nor comprehend verbal instructions given for medication dosage; scenarios that could result in serious consequences.

We are deeply concerned about a growing expectation for Deaf people to access critical information including UK government advice about COVID-19 in a second or third language (English) – or to rely on other unsuitable signed forms of communication, such as Makaton.

Makaton is a communication system designed to support disabled people and those with learning disabilities. It is not an equivalent to BSL – and therefore is a potentially dangerous ‘alternative’.

We are concerned that the Bristol Nightingale Hospital that serves a strong Deaf community from across the South West of England has implemented Makaton as its main alternative communication support for Deaf and disabled people.

The UK remains in pandemic and whilst the pressure on resources is immense, it is now more critical than ever that the UK Government supports the health, safety and wellbeing of Deaf people by providing accessible information (at the time it is published) – and that hospitals and healthcare settings comply with the NHS Accessible Information Standard.

The Association of Sign Language Interpreters, in collaboration with the Royal Association for Deaf people, SignHealth and the British Society for Mental Health and Deafness, has produced guidelines for organisations booking and providing communication access for Deaf people the COVID-19 pandemic.  It is critical that hospitals and healthcare providers read this guidance and consult with their own local communities and specialist Deaf organisations.

Lorna Bareham | PR & Marketing Officer

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IBSL New Mobile Number

Sincere apologies for our current telephone situation.


We have now set up a new mobile phone number, this is currently operational within our usual office opening hours.

New Number: 07933541977

Please update this number in your contacts to ensure WhatsApp’s, Phone calls and any other text messages reach us;


We would also like to remind you that we already have an established phone number set up for video calls during the COVID-19 pandemic

Please contact this number if you would like to video call IBSL:

Video Call Line: 07502037270

The above number is for video calls only


Stay Safe

Thank you for your support.

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iBSL Images to Celebrate Deaf Awareness Week 2020

iBSL Deaf Awareness Week 2020

iBSL Deaf Awareness Week 2020 - Celebrate Differences

iBSL Deaf Awareness Week 2020 - BSL Teachers are Amazing

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Latest Update from iBSL

Good afternoon to all our centres and learners, we hope you are all well.

iBSL would like to issue an update on some queries that we have received.

All of our scheduled assessments and any new assessments have been put on hold for now due to the current pandemic.  We sincerely apologise for this inconvenience.  Please be assured that we are doing everything we can to put a system in place whereby all centres have an equal opportunity to provide learners with a way of continuing their assessments during the current, unprecedented situation.  All marking of assessments has also been put on hold.  Again, we are very sorry for this inconvenience.  We were unable to continue with our current way of marking, but we are in the process of resolving this issue.  We thank you again for your patience.

We are working very closely with Ofqual & The Federation of Awarding Bodies, so any decisions made by us will have been approved by these regulators and will sit be in line with any framework that they have put in place.

Our Learner Portal is now up and running.  We’ve had a great amount of interest and we thank you all for your support and patience.  We understand that some learners are having problems whilst creating passwords and we are in constant contact with our software development team who are working to resolve this issue as soon as possible. We will issue regular updates on this via our social media platforms.

We are currently working from home with a reduced team to ensure the safety of our staff, as per Government guidelines, so please bear with us whilst we try and respond to all emails and calls.

Thank you for taking the time to read our update, we are working very hard to resolve all  of the issues we have mentioned.

We are very grateful for your support in during these very challenging times.

Stay safe.

With thanks from all the team at iBSL

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Please take the iBSL Survey

At iBSL we continuously review our service to ensure the high quality provision of qualifications.  To aid our research and planning we would like to gain some insight from our current iBSL learners.  To support iBSL we would greatly appreciate if you would spare a few minutes to complete the following questions from our online survey

Please click here to take the Survey


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iBSL are still here for you

We hope that all of you are keeping well during this difficult time. Please be assured that iBSL are still here for you, with our staff working from home on new ways to support ongoing learning. It is heartening to see the effort and commitment of our Centres and learners to continue their courses despite the current lock-down. 

With regards to assessments: iBSL are currently working closely with Ofqual and the Federation of Awarding Bodies to devise a strategy for these unprecedented circumstances. We will of course provide an update about arrangements for assessments as soon as we are able.

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iBSL Advice to Centres

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iBSL Sign Language Week 2020

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