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Read a messange from

WFD President Colin Allen

WASLI is looking for

Check out the upcoming

WASLI’s President, Debra

becomes chair-elect of the

dedicated volunteers who

events about deaf

Russell, about recent

International Disability

are willing to support our

communities, sign language

activities of WASLI in the

Alliance, in Bangkok,

organisation. You are

studies, translation and



welcome to work with us.

interpreting studies.


newsletter. no. 2



From North Korea Debra Russell visits the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) and meets with sign language interpreters and deaf community organizations.

During late May, the WASLI President Debra

our visas to DPRK. The WFD Representative

world! Robert has worked over the past four

Russell, was thrilled to be part of a seven person

Officer to Pyongyang is Robert Grund from

years in the DPRK and he has accomplished

delegation that visited DPRK. She joined Colin

Germany, and he is a wonderful role model for

amazing feats! Here you can read some of what

Allen, WFD President, Terry Riley, WFD Board

how one person can positively change the

she experienced.


Member, Cecilia Hankikoski, WDFYS President, Marco Grund, German Deaf Sports Association, and interpreter Cynthia Cave. Hend Alshowaier was also to be part of delegation, however visa problems prevented her from coming with us.

The Central

Committee of the Korean Federation for the Protection of the Disabled (KFDP) sponsored

It was a privilege to visit DPRK and to learn from the people we met. I wish the deaf and interpreter communities much continued success and I look forward to seeing what future projects will be built on the firm foundation that Robert and others have laid. Debra Russell

President’s words Debra Russell Dear friends and colleagues,

Skype, and in February, we were pleased to also be

Brussels in April and in May we were please to

joined by Australasia representative, Angela

attend the ACILS's 25th Anniversary in Barcelona.

Murray, who updated us on work in her region. In

Thank you to Isabelle Heyerick for so capably

2018 there are plans to hold a regional conference

representing WASLI at these events. WASLI was

in Fiji. Angela is in regular contact with people in

very excited to be part of a WFD delegation that

Australia, New Zealand and Fiji, as well as the

visited the DPRK. See the article and photos in

Solomon Islands, seeking to share information and

this newsletter.

offer support for local and national priorities. In Since our last newsletter, several exciting WASLI events have taken place. Over the next few weeks those interpreters wishing to apply for WFD-WASLI International Sign Accreditation will be able to begin assembling their portfolios this summer, and a panel of experts

early July, our North American region met during a

face-to-face meeting per year, and we will meet in

This was a chance for representatives from

Athens in September 2016. Representatives that

Mexico, Canada, and the USA to renew goals for

are unable to attend will report in via technology.

the region, and to determine actions to be taken as

Our Vice President, Jose Ednilson, is our key

the three countries in support of interpreter

liaison to the regional representatives.


Immediately after the meetings, some of the

Dee Collins (USA) has managed the membership

efsli conference.

WASLI board members will also participate in the

will review the applications during November. WASLI is pleased to have representatives from sign language and spoken language education, and an IS interpreter serve on the panel, along with representatives from WFD. As with any accreditation process, we were able to start with an initial group that were invited to apply as they had a long history of working WFD events and/or

renewals over the past year. Thank you, Dee, for your service! We wish Dee every success as she

the application based on feedback from the first applicants and the panellists. Watch for information about the process later the summer. Thank you to Arkady Belozvosky (USA) who has stepped up to lead the work of volunteer IS translators who will offer video translations of some of our key documents on the website. His work will complement the work coordinated by Michelle Chang (Peru), who is working with volunteer translators who will produce written translations for our website. If you are interested in a translation role, please do respond to the call for translators. Simone Scholl (Germany) has assembled a wellexperienced international team of interpreter trainers to begin moving the video education modules project along.

We thank each of the

representatives for volunteering their time and expertise to this important project. I also want to thank our Fund Development chairs, Bibi LaceyMoulder (UK) and Chris Grooms (USA) who are busy preparing a proposal for potential funding of this work. Each 6 weeks the executive meetings are held via

In June I participated in the Critical Link 8

continues to pursue her educational goals, and we

conference in Edinburgh, Scotland. While there I

welcome Rebecca Thurrowgood from Brisbane,

was also able to meet with Christian Peters, efsli

Australia, who has agreed to cover membership for

president, to review aspects of the WASLI-efsli

the remaining three years of this term.

MOU and to make plans for both boards to meet

During the past few months I have participated in

representatives of Critical Link International,

while in Greece. I was also able to meet with

working at UN high level meetings. From that initial group, WFD-WASLI has been able to refine

The WASLI Governing Document requires one

national Deaf conference in Phoenix Arizona.

several WASLI events, including an April

AIIC, and Red T. As you will know from our joint

conference at Bahrain, where WFD, WASLI and

open letter campaigns and petitions, this

ICSD were all represented at this Arab regional

international collaboration has met with success on

conference. It was a wonderful opportunity for

issues of importance for interpreters and

increased collaboration across the three

translators, whether it is to lobby for the release of

international organizations, while offering our

translators jailed in Turkey, or lobbing the US

support to the Bahraini Deaf community on issues

senate for more visas to Afghan linguists. WASLI

of importance to them. While in Manama, we met

is pleased to be part of the coalition, and we

with elected officials within Parliament, had a

appreciate the support we receive from members

chance to observe a session that is also interpreted

that tweet out our posts, share our Facebook posts,

into Bahraini Sign Language.

and sign petitions.

A regional

conference was held with over 200 attendees, and it was a pleasure to offer information about WASLI

So, as you can see, there are many people working

at that event. We also issued a three organization

hard to grow this association and to strengthen

Joint Statement in support of the Bahraini Deaf

interpreting in every WASLI region. As Board

Community, where we addressed the need for

members, we look forward to working with you

quality bilingual education, the need for sign

and hearing from you. Contact us any time with

language interpreter training in order to support the

questions and feedback, or to lend a hand.

full inclusion of deaf people in society, and for an independent sports association that can work

With warm regards.

directly with the Bahraini Sport Ministry as opposed to being under the Paralympics Committee.

Thank you to the Bahraini Deaf

Sports Association, for their warm hospitality

You can contact the president of WASLI on e-mail

during our visit.


WASLI also participated in a Justisigns event in

International Disability Alliance appoints Colin Allen as new Chair

NORTH AMERICA REGIONAL MEETING On 05 July 2016, at Phoenix, USA, the WA S L I

North America


representative hosted a face-to-face meeting with representatives from Mexico, United States and Canada. Present at the meeting were Debbie Parliament (AVLIC), Frank Folino (CADASC), Daniel Maya Ortega (AITLS), Dawn Whitcher, Melvin Walker, (RID), David Quinto-Pozos (Mano-a-Mano), Carla Garcia-Fernandez, Rogelio Fernandez (Council de Manos) and Liz Mendoza (WASLI). On the agenda of the meeting were issues such as: support Mexico, collaborate with linguistic researchers to request government support,


partnerships with key people and the deaf

I am very concerned about the removal of barriers “ While for the Deaf Community, as Chair of IDA, I am equally

community "I am looking forward to working with all of the members from these organizations Thank you so much for attending this

keen that current obstacles experienced by all people with

meeting and for all of your insight and

disabilities are eradicated as only then will we have a truly

experience", said Liz Mendoza.

inclusive community." - Colin Allen.

On 1st. July 2016 Mr. Colin Allen assumes the

Goals. While I am very concerned about the removal

Chair of the International Disability Alliance (IDA),

of barriers for the Deaf Community, as Chair of IDA,

from Australia; elected by the Alliance’s 13 voting

I am equally keen that current obstacles experienced

Members in March of this year. Colin Allen is a

by all people with disabilities are eradicated as only

leading advocate for persons with disabilities globally, including as President of the World Federation of the Deaf since 2011. He is the second deaf person to serve as the Chair of IDA, of which the World Federation of the Deaf is a founding member. Mr. Allen succeeds Ms. Maryanne

then will we have a truly inclusive community.", says Colin Allen. Mr. Allen is responsible for guiding and


representing IDA's engagement with the UN System

As of 8 May 2016 Maya de Wit is the new

and other international human rights and

coordinator of the AIIC Sign Language

international development organizations. Mr. Allen

Network. Maya was the first sign language

World Blind Union, and IDA Chair from July 2014

is closely engaged with the implementation of the

interpreter in the world to become a member

to June 2016.

2030 Agenda for persons with disabilities

of AIIC. The International Association of

“I am very pleased that as a deaf sign language user,

worldwide: he is leading IDA's strategic planning to

Conference Interpreters (AIIC) established in

I will be able to advance IDA goals and promote its

ensure awareness raising, capacity building, and

vision in my own language - sign language - and

participation of persons with disabilities in the

perhaps through my international leadership hasten

preparatory processes towards national reviews.

the removal of barriers experienced by other deaf

Under Mr. Allen's leadership, IDA's mission is to

people in the world, thereby pursuing and fulfilling

ensure that the UN upholds the essential, unifying

congratulates Maya and we look forward to

the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with

principle of the disability movement: 'nothing about

increased collaboration with AIIC through her

Disabilities and the Sustainable Development

us without us'.


Diamond, AO, Immediate-Past President of the

2009 a committee, the Sign Language Network, dedicated to cooperate with conference sign language interpreters. You can follow the AIIC Sign Language Network o n Tw i t t e r :



International Sign Accreditation System WFD / WASLI annouce next process


The WFD and WASLI have created in 2015 an

interpreters. By identifying the competencies and

regional representatives have on-line

International Sign Interpreter Accreditation

criteria, thus process will also provide a ladder

meetings to discuss and monitor our

System. Currently 20 individuals have been

approach for those who aspire to work at the

activities around the world.

awarded the official status of ‘WFD-WASLI

international events that are crucial for our

However, on 7th and 8th September,

Every month the WASLI

board and

Accredited IS Interpreter’ after being assessed,

organisations to function effectively", said Debra

before EFSLI 2016 Conference, the

through closed applications, by a panel of six


Executive and Regional Representatives


The Certificate of Accreditation is valid for five (5)

will meet in Athens, Greece,using

"This process is an exceptional example of joint

years. If you want more information, send a e-mail


WFD-WASLI work that will result in positive

t o

recognition of the complicated and sophisticated


N a f i s a h

R a n t a s a l m i

o n





representatives who cannot attend efsli. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to learn more about our activities or visit our

skill sets required by International Sign


Membership Coordenator Rebecca Thurrowgood We are pleased to welcome to our new WASLI

various countries joining together and valuing the

Membership Coordinator, Rebecca Thurrowgood,

profession of sign language interpretation. Special

from Australia. Rebecca is a CODA and has

thanks to Dee Collins and Susan Emerson for

worked as an interpreter in schools and

making my introduction to this role such an easy

universities. She has also spent many years

and stress free experience. Every membership

working as a Language Assistant in a Bilingual-

means WASLI can do more to provide support,

Bicultural program for Deaf and hearing children.

training and resources for interpreters and

Currently WASLI has 15 national members, 2

According to her "Even though I’ve only been the

interpreting associations, particularly those in

organisation member and 115 individual

Membership co-ordinator for WASLI for a few

nations without this type of support. Consider

members. If you or you organization want to

weeks, it’s been great to see memberships coming

becoming a member today or sponsoring others to

support WASLI as a member you can access our

in and seeing interpreters and associations from

become members".

website on wasli.org/membership and join us.

Call for Volunteers TRANSLATOR WASLI wishes to offer news and information in multiple languages. In that way we are looking for dedicated translators who are willing to support our organization. For the written language translation department we are looking for people who can translate from English into French, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, Portuguese, Hindi, Russian and German. For the written translations, send an e-mail to translations.wasli@gmail.com by August 1st with the following information: full name, e-mail address and your working languages (which can be others than the ones listed above) and your level of proficiency in them. INTERNATIONAL SIGN For the signed language translation department we are looking for people who can translate from English into International Sign. send an e-mail to istranslation.wasli@gmail.com by August 31th with the following information: full name, e-mail address and your level of proficiency in Working from English (written) into English.

NEWSLETTER EDITOR The WASLI Board is looking for a Newsletter editor and assistants. If you are interested in this work, we would love to hear from you by May 20th. Please send a letter of interest, describing your skills and experience with creating newsletters or communiques, and three things you would like to contribute to improve the newsletter for WASLI. Send expressions of interest to: secretary.wasli@gmail.com

WFD and WASLI Visiting North Korea Our delegation met in Bejiing, and it was there that our visas were issued for travel the following day. Representatives of the Deaf Association and the Interpreters Association, along with a young deaf girl and her deaf teacher met us at the Sunan International Airport, and transported us to our hotel in the Munsudong area of the Embassy Village or diplomatic square. Our first day allowed us to meet senior officers of the KFPD and to experience a wonderful dance performance with Deaf youth. We then had a chance to visit the Deaf Centre, which houses the deaf kindergarten program, several offices, a studio where the deaf community are making TV programs, and a deaf woodworking studio. We also visited a vocational training centre for adults, where we saw a computer class with some deaf students, before attending a reception at the German Embassy. At the reception, a thirty-minute documentary on the work that Robert has been engaged in was previewed, and Colin Allen, WFD President, gave interviews to media representatives. The reception also allowed us to meet with other international NGO representatives and embassy staff from several countries that operate in the DPRK. In all our interactions, it is clear that Robert is very well respected for his community building and pioneering efforts with the deaf community. He has built bridges with NGOs, embassy personnel, funders and DPRK government officials, in order to garner support for the WFD project goals.

The next two days brought together deaf community representatives, along with 70 children from three different schools for the deaf (there are 8 deaf schools in total in DPRK). The program was comprised of presentations given by each of our delegation members, as well as representatives from the Deaf Association of Korea (DAK), the interpreter association (SLIAK), the Deaf Wood Workshop (DWW) and the deaf sports group. I was able to meet with several local Pyongyang sign language interpreters who have been trained as part of the project, and you will see photos of our shared conversations. Ri Choi is the president of SLIAK (Sign Language Interpreters of Korea) and I have encouraged the interpreters to apply for WASLI national membership and to be able to attend WASLI 2019 in Paris. Thanks

to Cindy Cave for also joining the meeting, and sharing her experiences that come from working many international sporting events, in addition to living and working in both Australia and Belgium.

Colin, Terry, and Cecelia were able to meet with deaf representatives at the same time that we met with the interpreters, allowing WFD, WFDYS and WASLI to learn what issues the local deaf community and interpreter communities see as the priorities moving forward. Finally, our delegation drafted a letter to King Jong Un, the supreme leader of DPRK, expressing our gratitude for the opportunity to learn about the good work occurring in the country, and offering support for national deaf community. While it is a vastlycomplex country to work in, Robert has been able to produce amazing results, not the least of which includes obtaining government permission for visits from Markku Jokinen, former WFD President, and Liz-Scott Gibson, former WASLI President, nearly six years ago, which led to exchange visits to Finland for a delegation from DPRK. Such a visit meant arranging for DPRK deaf citizens to get passports for the very first time. Over the past four years, Robert has worked with government representatives and local deaf people to: - Create the Deaf Association of Korea and the Sign Language Interpreters Association of Korea - Purchase a 18 passenger van specifically for the deaf association to use - Confirm a three story building for the deaf association and to secure funding for renovations, including ramps that allow access to the building for those who are blind and/or physical challenges - Arrange for short sign language training and interpreter training in 3 provinces - Establish a small deaf kindergarten with a deaf teachers - Create pictoral educational materials for the pre-school that showcase written Korean, Korean Sign Language, and English within the booklets - Arrange for donated woodworking equipment from deaf community representatives from Germany, to offer

training on how to manufacture flashing alarm clocks, and establishing internal and external contracts for creating wood projects. - Arrange for computer and video equipment to be donated, create a video studio, and to invite a German filmmaker to come and train local deaf people in creating and editing videos - Produce 14 short TV programs with Deaf narrators on a variety of issues - Ensure a sign language interpreter has been present during large government events such as the Day of the Disabled - Bring a DPRK delegation to the WFD Congress at Istanbul, Turkey in July 2015, and to offer a presentation at the conference - Arrange for our delegation to visit as the country prepares its final reports about the project work that has been accomplished

Robert's energy, commitment to making the world a better place for deaf people, and his willingness to make personal sacrifices to live in an environment where he often has limited communication with his family and friends outside of the country, is an outstanding model for all who are interested in supporting community development in emerging countries like DPRK. Robert's leadership abilities and diplomacy have served the deaf community well, and his actions can serve as a roadmap for future projects in other countries. It was a privilege to visit DPRK and to learn from the people we met. I wish the deaf and interpreter communities much continued success and I look forward to seeing what future projects will be built on the firm foundation that Robert and others have laid. And to WFD, I want to sincerely thank Colin for his leadership and spirit of collaboration that allows us to continue to work so closely together. It was an amazing week of experie nces that will remain in my heart forever. In gratitude.

WASLI at ACILS the 25th Anniversary

Critical Link 8 Conference at HeriotWatt University in Scotland During June 27-July 01, both signed and spoken language interpreters gathered in Edinburgh, Scotland for the Critical Link conference. Critical Link is one of the international organizations that WASLI collaborates with on our Open Letter Campaigns. Several of our WASLI members also attended the conference, as delegates and presenters. Over 300 participants came from many different countries, to share their research and practices about community interpreting. The conference had both BSL and International Sign interpretation, and the final conference panel was live streamed, allowing interpreters from around the globe to participate by sending in questions for the panelists.

ACILS president (Albert Llaurens), vice-president (Sara Costa) and WASLI secretary (Isabelle Heyerick) at the 25th anniversary awareness session, Barcelona.

On June 4 th the Association of Catalonian Signed Language interpreters celebrated their 25 th anniversary. WASLI was invited to their awareness session. The WASLI secretary, Isabelle Heyerick, gave a presentation introducing WASLI. During her time at the ACILS conference she had the opportunity to meet with wonderful and passionate people. A lot of things are changing in Cataluña regarding the formation of signed language interpreters with the establishment of a university degree training. However, the basic working conditions still need attention and improvement. WASLI heartily congratulates ACILS on their 25 th anniversary and looks forward to collaborate in the future.

SHORT NEWS Europe: Christopher Stone has been playing an active role in supporting the efsli board, and the next efsli conference will be held in Athens in Sept 2016. EFSLI has an exciting program planned for its delegates and several WASLI executive will be attending as presenters and delegates. We look forward to continued collaboration with the new board of efsli.

Some of the people you may know presented, including Christopher Stone, Campbell McDermid, Della Goswell, Robin Dean, Risa Shaw, Jemina Napier, Debra Russell, Rachel Locker McKee, Robert Lee, Betsy Winston, Terry Janzen, Barb Shaffer, Lorraine Leeson, Myriam Vermeerbergen, Beppie van den Bogaerde, Bonnie Heath, Ineke Crezee, Christian Rathmann, Jeff Davies, and so many others. So you can see this is a conference where sign language interpreters are actively involved. WASLI asked Dr. George Major from New Zealand to share her thoughts about the conference. Here is what she said: "Earlier this month I attended the Critical Link 8 conference in Edinburgh. I have always heard good things about this conference but had not yet had a chance to attend myself. Luckily I was accepted to present a paper on my research, so I was able to attend as part of my work. Critical Link 8 was hosted by Heriot-Watt University, and organised extremely well by the friendly and helpful conference committee. I can honestly say this is one of the best conferences I’ve been to (apart from WASLI, of course)! CL8 was a really well balanced mix of spoken and signed language researchers, educators, and practitioners. Most of the research presented was broad enough to be relevant to both fields. This meant it never felt like spoken and signed people were separate groups – everyone was sharing and learning together. Cl8 offered a huge amount of exciting new research from all around the world. Presenters included many leading researchers in the field, as well as newer researchers and doctoral students presenting their studies. Some of my favourite presentations (among many!) included Rachel Mapson’s research on interpreters’ perceptions of politeness, Kirri Dangerfield’s research on signed language team interpreting, and Robert Lee and Peter Llewellyn-Jones’ presentation on using role-space theory in interpreter education. There were a lot of parallel sessions – at times up to 10. The only thing I’d wished could be different was less parallel sessions, because it was very hard to choose what to attend"!

Asia: The next regional conference and meetings of Asia interpreters will be held in Singapore in October 2016. Plans are coming together for an exciting two day conference and we thank Etsuko Unemoto for her continued service in this region. Austraoceania: plans underway for a joint interpreter-deaf australia conference in Sydney Australia for Oct 2016. Balkans: Thanks to the members from around the globe who sponsored 8 interpreters to join WASLI as individual members. Desanka Zizik is now working on a draw to determine who those lucky recipients will be! Latin America: Isabel Rey is supporting Colombia SLI Meeting and Latin American SLI Meeting in 2017 as you can read on next page. Transcausia: Anna Komarova has been busy offering some training for interpreters outside of Moscow. This is a challenging geographical region given its size and the political context, but our reps are working hard to support SL interpreters in the region.

WASLI President with Angela Sasso, President Critical Link, Linda Fitchett, Past President AIIC, and Maya Hess, President Red T

This meant it never felt like spoken and signed people were separate groups – everyone was sharing and learning together. George Major

EVENTS ASIA 5th WFD Asia Conference 2016 Singapore 14 - 16 October Website: http://wfdasia2016.sg COLOMBIA 1st National Sign Language Interpreters Meeting Pereira 6 - 8 October Website: http://www.aniscol.org

BRAZIL 5th National Congress about Sign Language Translation and Interpreting Research Florianópolis 30 nov - 02 dez Website: http://www.congressotils.com.br GREECE EFSLI 2016 Conference Athens 09 - 11 September Website: http://efsli.org/2016

Brisbane 3 – 5 August 2017 Call for papers is open. Website: http://www.fit2017.org PANAMÁ 3rd WASLI Latin American Sign Language Interpreters and Deaf-blind Guide Meeting Panamá City 17 - 21 July 2017 E-mail: latinamerican.wasli@gmail.com

BELGIUM ENSLT - European Network Sign Language Teachers Symposium Antwerp 18 - 20 November Website: http://enslt.eu/pages/news.html MALASYA 2nd International Conference of Deaf Muslims 2016 Kuala Lumpur 27 - 30 November Website: malaysia2016.globaldeafmuslim.org AUSTRALIA XXI FIT - International Federation of Translators World Congress

The views expressed in this newsletter do not necessarily reflect those of the World Association of Sign Language Interpreters. The Editor, together with the WASLI Executive Board and external contributors, produce the WASLI newsletter. WASLI will work to ensure the authenticity of any information provided. We reserve the right to edit all submissions that are published. WASLI accepts no liability for the accuracy of the contents or any opinions expressed. Readers are invited to reproduce information provided the source is quoted. Readers should contact secretary@wasli.org for permission to use WASLI official photographs, or to advise of a change of email address.

WASLI EXECUTIVE BOARD Officers: Deb Russell (President); José Ednilson Souza Junior (Vice President); Isabelle Heyerick (Secretary); Susan Emerson (Treasurer) Regional Representatives: Angela Murray(Australasia & Oceania); Natasha Maliko (Africa); Monica Punjabi and Etsuko Umemoto (Asia); Desanka Zizic (Balkans); Isabel Rey (Latin America and Caribbean); Liz Mendoza (North America); Igor Bondarenko & Anna Komarova (Transcaucasia & Central Asia); (Europe); Christopher Stone.


WASLI VOLUNTEERS Deaf Interpreter Advisor: Nigel Howard WASLI Membership Coordinator: Rebecca Thurrowgood Social Media Coordinator: Suzanne Ehrlich WASLI Translations Coordinators: Michelle Chang (written translations), Arkady Belozovsky (signed translations) Web: Patrick Wiche & Patrick Galasso Newsletter Editor: Open Fund Development Committee: Chris Grooms & Bibi Dalacey-Mould Educational Video Modules: Simone Scholl

CONTACT US WASLI Office 7/211 Wellington Street Collingwood Victoria 3066 Australia

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Profile for WASLI Publications

WASLIi Newsletter August 2016  

WASLIi Newsletter August 2016