Presenter Biographies

John Xandre BalizaJohn Xandre Concepcion Baliza

President, Philippine National Association of Sign Language Interpreters / Coordinator, De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde Interpreting Education Program

Having been trained in chemistry and spending a year in medical school, John took another route when he joined De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde as faculty in its Deaf program. He was also former academics chairperson for the college’s School of Deaf Education and Applied Studies. He is currently the coordinator for its Interpreting Education Program, whose task is to develop a bachelor’s program in sign language interpreting, the first of its kind in the Philippines. He also serves as president of the Philippine National Association of Sign Language Interpreters, which worked closely with the Philippine Federation of the Deaf for the advocacy and passage of the Filipino Sign Language Law.  With the Asian region having been under-represented in international interpreting conferences, John is humbled to have the opportunity to bring the world’s attention to the Philippine interpreting situation for the first time.

Fernando Barbosa SanchezFernando Barbosa Sánchez

B.Eng. Electronics, Virtual Training Coordinator for Sign Language Interpreters, National Federation of the Deaf of Colombia (FENASCOL)

Fernando acquired Colombian Sign Language from deaf peers of his community while he was studying a B.Eng. on Electronics. He started learning about Deaf Community, Sign Language and Sign Language Interpretation from both deaf and hearing mentors of the Colombian deaf community.  Fernando has been working for the National Federation of the Deaf of Colombia for more than a decade as a Sign Language Interpreter and consultant in Digital Education for Interpretation and Sign Language teaching. During the last five years, he has been working as the first coordinator of the Virtual Training for Sign Language Interpreters area at “Centro de Relevo” project (A VRS/VRI project, administered by the National Federation of the deaf of Colombia and funded by the Colombian government) teaching and mentoring Colombian Sign Language Interpreters from all over the country through ICT environments. He also has visited Paraguay and several cities of Colombia giving lectures of Digital Education for Sign Language Interpreters.  During his work within FENASOL he led the design of the first professional curriculum of a Sign Language Interpretation career for Colleges and Universities in the country. He is interested in the fields of Digital Education, Anthropology, Sociology and Linguistics of Sign Languages.

Bonnie BusingyeBonnie Busingye

Ugandan Sign Language Interpreter Trainer, Kyambogo University, Uganda

Bonnie Busingye is a Deaf Ugandan Sign Language interpreter trainer at Kyambogo University. She is among the team that designed the curriculum and started the first Diploma in Ugandan Sign Language Interpreting program at Kyambogo University in co-operation with Danish Deaf Association sponsored by DANIDA.  Bonnie is a holder of Masters in Vocational Pedagogy, Bachelor’s Degree in Adult and Community Education from Kyambogo University and a Certificate in Ugandan Sign Language Instruction awarded by the Centre for Sign Language and Sign Supported Communication-KC Denmark. Has worked as a Sign Language interpreter’s trainer at Kyambogo University for 18 years and is among the members who established Uganda National Association of Sign language Interpreters (UNASLI). Her master’s thesis was about Evaluating Teaching and Learning Processes for the Diploma in Ugandan Sign Language Interpreting Program: A case study of the Department of Special Needs Studies, Kyambogo University.


Jeremy L BrunsonJeremy L. Brunson, PhD, CI/CT, SC:L

Independent Scholar, American Sign Language-English Interpreter, Trial Courts in Arizona in Maricopa County, USA

Jeremy L. Brunson holds graduate degrees in Social Justice & Social Inquiry and Sociology from Arizona State University and Syracuse University, respectively. He earned his doctorate at Syracuse University as well as a Certificate of Advanced Studies in Disability Studies. His book, Video Relay Service Interpreters: Intricacies of Sign Language Access, was published by Gallaudet University Press in 2011. His research interests are in the broad area of the sociology of interpreting, and his practice is primarily in the legal arena. He has published and presented about video relay service, educational interpreting, invisible labor deaf people perform, professionalization of sign language interpreting, and ethics. He was awarded The Irving K. Zola Award for Emerging Scholars in Disability Studies in 2009 and was named a Fulbright Specialist in 2017 and spent 6 weeks in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia helping to establish the country’s first Interpreter Training Program.

Dr Audrey Cameron, PhD

Research Associate, Centre for Translation & Interpreting Studies in Scotland, Heriot-Watt University, UK

Audrey has a science background as a chemist, and is now a social sciences researcher. She is currently employed in the Centre for Translation & Interpreting Studies in Scotland (CTISS) in the School of Social Sciences dedicated to working on the DESIGNS research project. She is also the lead tutor on the PGDE Secondary Education (Chemistry with science) course at University of Edinburgh and also teaches on the PGDE Primary Education (science) and MSc Inclusive Education (Deaf Studies) courses. Audrey also currently manages the Scottish Sensory Centre’s STEM in sign language glossary project at University of Edinburgh.  Since 2007, the project has been collecting and developing over 1,500 signs, which are available online with definitions and laboratory demonstrations in sign language and English. Audrey has previously conducted research on the employment situation for deaf BSL users in Scotland for Deaf Scotland (previously Scottish Council on Deafness).

Dr John Bosco Conama, PhD

Director, Centre for Deaf Studies, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland

 John is currently the Director of the Centre for Deaf Studies, in Trinity College Dublin and is former Chairperson of the Irish Deaf Society. He was the co-chair of the Irish Sign Language Recognition Campaign which achieved the ISL Act last December.  He holds a M.Litt in Social Policy (TCD) and a PhD in Equality Studies (UCD); his thesis focused on a comparative policy analysis of signed languages in two countries – Finland and Ireland. He was involved in establishing the first certificate level course for Deaf people organised by the Equality Studies Centre, University College Dublin. Dr Conama was awarded Language Ambassador of the Year 2015 by Leargas / Erasmus + for his work on the promotion and preservation of Irish Sign Language. His recent publications have focused on deaf people in society and social policies affecting Irish Sign Language.

Onno CrasbornO.A. Crasborn, PhD

Professor, Radboud University, Centre for Language Studies

Onno Crasborn has been studying the linguistic structure and use of Sign Language of the Netherlands (NGT) for over two decades. He has played a major role in the development of sign language corpora and related language technologies, including the ELAN annotation software and the Signbank lexical database. Ongoing work studies the use of international sign in cross-signing context and in conference interpreting. In 2005 he obtained his NGT interpreting certification.


Suzanne EhrlichDr Suzanne Ehrlich

Coming soon

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Razaq FakirRazaq Fakir BA, BA. Hons

Razaq is currently Project Coordinator and Facilitator for Sign Language Programs at the Hub for Multilingual Education and Literacies at the School of Education at the University of the Witwatersrand. He is also a practicing Deaf Interpreter. He holds a B. Phil from the University of Malawi and a BA hons from the University of the Witwatersrand and Interpreting certificate from the Wits Language School. He has been ardently working for the establishment of Deaf Interpreter programs and taught pilot course for DI’s in two provinces of South Africa that ran during 2017-2018. He is committed to advocating for excellence in interpreting from the client perspective and for Deaf people to become interpreters in their own right. His professional interest is grounded in linguistics, Deaf interpreting and language practice. He actively examines issues of language development in the context of multilingual teaching.

Aurélia Nana Gassa GongaAurélia Nana Gassa Gonga, MA

PhD Candidate, Radboud University, Centre for Language Studies

Aurélia Nana Gassa Gonga has been a qualified French Sign Language interpreter since 2012. As a junior researcher, she was part of the French team “Signed Languages and Gesture” at the University Paris 8 & CNRS and undertook research about deaf translation. Since 2018, she has started a PhD about international sign used by interpreters, at Radboud University. She is an active member of the French association of Sign Language interpreters (AFILS) and works for better recognition of the profession in France and abroad. ​

Hilde HaualandHilde Haualand, PhD

Associate Professor, Section of sign language and interpreting at the department of International Studies and Interpretation, OsloMet – Oslo Metropolitan University.

Hilde Haualand is a social anthropologist who has done research on deaf people, transnationalism, service provision (including interpreters), marginalization and disability. In her PhD dissertation “Interpreting Ideals and Relaying Rights” (2012), she compared the video interpreting services in the US, Sweden and Norway, used a broad array of methods and combined her background in social anthropology with perspectives from actor-network theory. Her most recent research project is a study of the professional identity of Norwegian sign language interpreters, and some of her previous research areas are the politics of video interpreting services in the US, Sweden and Norway, sign language legislation in Norway and Sweden, deaf transnationalism, deaf and hard of hearing young people, disabled prisoners, and labour market politics and disability. She has recently (2018) edited a book about interpreting and interpreters in Norway and Sweden (Tolking – språkarbeid og profesjonsutøvelse/Interpreting – language work and professional practice)  with Anna-Lena Nilssonand Eli Raanes.

Leonida KaulaLeonida T. Kaula

Kenya Sign Language Research project (University of Nairobi)

Ms. Kaula holds a Masters of Arts in Interpretation from the University of Nairobi. She has been a freelance interpreter for the past 22years working in diverse settings and currently interpreting the National Assembly and Senate proceedings of the Kenyan parliament on National television. Ms. Kaula is also an adjunct Lecturer at the Kenya Sign Language Research Project (University of Nairobi) and St. Paul’s University.  She is currently serving her second term as the Chairperson of the Kenya Sign Language Interpreters Association a position she has held since Feb 2012.

Emmy KaulingEmmy Kauling

Doctoral researcher, Heriot-Watt University, UK

Emmy Kauling is a signed language interpreter and linguist from the Netherlands. She started her PhD in September 2016 at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, Scotland. Her main research interest is signed language interpreting in professional settings, from an applied linguistics perspective. She looks in her doctoral study at how responsibilities are distributed in interpreted interactions and how people collaborate in interpreted events.

Anne LeahyAnne Leahy, MA, CI/CT, NAD V

Anne has been a private practice ASL–English interpreter/translator, mentor and speaker since 1989. Her master’s thesis found legal interpreting practice with signing deaf parties developed before Deaf schools, signed languages, and communities were formed in the UK and US. She is currently expanding her historical study of hearing and deaf interpreters in legal settings through a research PhD in Translation Studies at the University of Birmingham. For more information, see, Facebook at /InterpreterHistory, or Twitter @interphistory.

Sam Lutalo-KiingiDr. Sam Lutalo-Kiingi

Dr. Sam Lutalo-Kiingi is a lecturer at Kyambogo University in Uganda, and the first Deaf African to hold a PhD in linguistics (2014, University of Central Lancashire, UK, A Descriptive Grammar of Morpho-Syntactic Constructions in Ugandan Sign Language(UgSL)). Fluent in multiple sign languages, he has more than 20 years of experience in sign language research and teaching. Dr. Lutalo-Kiingi coordinated the first SL interpreting training programme in Eastern and Southern Africa (1998 – 2000, supported by DDL). He has been teaching in the Diploma in UgSL Interpreting from the programme’s establishment in 2002 until today. In cooperation with DDL, he worked with University of Cape Coast, Ghana, to train the first student group for a Certificate in Ghana SL Interpreting (2017 – 2018). As a Visiting Fellow of the British Academy at Heriot-Watt University (UK, 2018-2019), he conducted a research study on UgSL interpreting training and services.

Professor Lorraine Leeson

Associate Dean of Research, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland

Lorraine is Associate Dean of Research at Trinity College Dublin and Professor of Deaf Studies, with responsibility for research integrity issues. Her research work focuses on the linguistics and applied linguistics of sign languages, including interpreting studies. She has led the establishment of interpreter education in Ireland and engaged in pan-European research work with academic institutions, Deaf communities and interpreting organisations for over 25 years. Current projects include “DESIGNS” (Erasmus+), which focuses on deaf graduates’ access to employment and “Promoting Excellence in Sign Language Instruction” (European Centre for Modern Languages). In 2008, she was named a European Language Ambassador for her work. Lorraine has been an interpreter for 25 years and is Co-Chair of the European Forum of Sign Language Interpreters Committee of Experts with Prof Jemina Napier, with whom she co-authored “Sign Language in Action” (Palgrave, 2016).


George MajorGeorge Major

Auckland University of Technology

Dr. George Major is a Senior Lecturer and Programme Leader of the New Zealand Sign Language-English Interpreting and Deaf Studies programmes at Auckland University of Technology.George is a sociolinguist and interpreter educator with a professional background in NZSL interpreting. Her research interests center around discourse and narrative analysis of sign language and interpreting, particularly in healthcare settings. She has developed innovative methodologies for collecting and analyzing naturally-occurring interaction data involving signed languages. George’s PhD research used interpreted interaction data to examine the role of signed language interpreters in healthcare in Australia. George is Co-Editor of the International Journal of Interpreter Education, and was the Oceania regional WASLI representative from 2007-2011.

R MapsonRachel Mapson, PhD, RSLI, MASLI

Lecturer, Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh

Rachel is a registered British Sign Language/English interpreter with over 24 years of experience of working in a wide variety of domains, with particular experience of medical, educational/academic and workplace interpreting.  Since 2016 she has worked at Queen Margaret University to develop and deliver a new online in BSL/English Interpreting (post-registration).  She has presented widely in relation to her doctoral research, which examines the interpretation of im/politeness and the importance of rapport management.  Rachel is currently leading the Scottish Government funded review on the BSL/English interpreting landscape in Scotland.

Rachel McKeeRachel McKee

Victoria University of Wellington

Dr. Rachel McKee is an Associate Professor and Programme Director of NZSL Studies in the School of Linguistics and Applied Language Studies at Victoria University of Wellington. A professional background in sign language interpreting in New Zealand and the US motivated Rachel’s academic career in applied sign linguistics. Rachel has established academic programs for sign language interpreters, Deaf sign language teachers, and second language learners of NZSL. Her research on spans micro to macro topics, including documentation of NZSL grammar and lexicon, sociolinguistic variation, ethnography of the NZ Deaf community, analysis of interpreted interaction, and language planning for sign languages. Rachel has contributed to WASLI conference organisation, and as a member of the WASLI International Task Group (2009-2011) that wrote guidelines for interpreter training.

Version 2Maartje De Meulder, PhD

Postdoctoral fellow, University of Namur, Belgium

Maartje De Meulder is a postdoctoral fellow at the research group on multilingualism of the University of Namur in Belgium since 2017. She obtained her PhD in 2016 (University of Jyväskylä). Maartje’s academic profile is by nature cross-disciplinary, combining research interests and expertise in sign language policy and vitality, sign language rights, and sign language interpreting from a social science perspective. She is especially interested in how sign language interpreting as a social institution relates to deaf people’s language rights and multilingual practices, and how and when deaf people prefer interpreter-mediated or direct communication. She also co-investigates language attitudes in a project focusing on family language policy in mixed deaf-hearing families, and is interested in discourses around educational inclusion for deaf learners.

Monica NyamburaMonica N. Mwangi

Founder/ Director, Sign Language Resource Centre

Ms. Mwangi holds a bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Media studies (Development communication option) from the University of Nairobi.  She took interest in Sign Language interpreting 18 years ago and has carried out numerous interpreting assignments over the years both locally and internationally, which has greatly sharpened her skills and greatly contributed to her experience in the field. Ms. Mwangi has also served as a board member and an official of the Kenya Sign Language Interpreters Association between 2008- 2015. Ms Mwangi has for the past few years devoted much of her time working at Sign Language Resource center to mentor new interpreters in Kenya, and prepare them for the job market

Jemina NapierProfessor Jemina Napier, PhD

Director, Centre for Translation & Interpreting Studies in Scotland,Heriot-Watt University, UK

Jemina is Professor and Chair of Intercultural Communication and Director of the Centre for Translation & Interpreting Studies in Scotland (CTISS), and is an interpreter researcher, educator and practitioner. She has practiced as a signed language interpreter since 1988, and works between English and British Sign Language (BSL), Australian Sign Language (Auslan) or International Sign. Jemina has published over 150 books, articles and book chapters based on research on sign language interpreting, interpreting research methods and interpreting pedagogy, and has taught interpreters in the UK, Australia, USA, New Zealand, Kosovo, and Fiji. Jemina is a member of the World Federation of the Deaf Expert Group on Accessibility, a Fellow of the Association of Sign Language Interpreters UK,past President of the Australian Sign Language Interpreters Association (ASLIA) and was an inaugural board member of the World Association of Sign Language Interpreters (WASLI).

Anna-Lena NilssonAnna-Lena Nilsson, PhD

Professor of sign language and interpreting, Institute of Language and Literature, NTNU – Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway

Anna-Lena Nilsson is currently Professor of Sign Language and Interpreting at NTNU – the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, in Trondheim, Norway. She has more than 35 years of experience as a signed language interpreter, including interpreting during eight of the nine latest Congresses of the WFD, and has trained interpreters since 1994. She was part of the team planning the BA-program in Signed Language and Interpreting that was launched at Stockholm University in 2013. Her PhD-thesis was titled “Studies in Swedish Sign Language: Reference, Real Space Blending, and Interpretation”. Recent research includes the project “Use of Signing Space in Simultaneous Interpretation”, an EU project on medical interpreting, and describing how adult learners of Norwegian Sign Language attempt to describe spatial layouts. She is a member of the editorial board of the International Journal of Interpreter Education, and of the assessment panel for the WFD-WASLI International Sign Interpreter Accreditation.

Tiago CoimbraTiago Coimbra Nogueira

Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Director of Febrapils – Brazilian Federation of Associations of Professionals Translators and Interpreters and Guide-Interpreters of Sign Language.

Tiago C. Nogueira is a Translator and Interpreter of Brazilian Sign Language (Libras)-Portuguese Language. Bachelor’s Degree in Letters Libras and Master in Translation Studies by the Federal University of Santa Catarina. Assistant Professor at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, acting in the training of translators and interpreters, ministering disciplines related to practices of interpretation in conferences and artistic contexts. Director of the political articulation of Febrapils – 2014 – 2019 Management

OMOBOSOLA OLADIPUPOOladipupo Wumi Omobosola, M.Ed.

Oladipupo Wumi Omobosola is a holder of Nigeria Certificate in Education (NCE); Bachelor Degree in Education (B.Ed) and Master’s Degree in Education (M.Ed), all in Deaf Education. He is one of the highly ranked Sign Language Interpreters in Federal College of Education (Special), Oyo, Oyo State Nigeria with over thirteen years work experience. Oladipupo played prominent roles in efforts to get Sign Language organized and standardized in Nigeria, the efforts that culminated into formation of a Professional body representing Sign Language Interpreters in educational sector (ESLIs) named Educational Sign Language Interpreters Association of Nigeria (ESLIAN). He is the current elected and serving Pioneer National President of the Association. He has championed so many causes in different capacities and contributed immensely to the body of knowledge in interpreting. Oladipupo is a scholar; he seeks knowledge at all possible means.

Natasha Parkins-MalikoNatasha Parkins-Maliko, MA

University of the Witwatersrand

Natasha Parkins-Maliko is an Associate Lecturer in Translation and Interpreting (School of Literature, Language and Media) at the University of the Witwatersrand. She is also a Sign Language practitioner, specializing in communication access for Deaf and Deaf-Blind persons in a variety of settings. She has 19 years of interpreting experience and her expertise focus on three strands namely: Interpreting, Translation and professional development through research. She holds a MA Linguistics (UFS) and a MA, European Master’s in Sign Language Interpreting (EUMASLI) from Humak University, Finland. She is currently a PhD candidate in Interpreting and Translation at the University of Witwatersrand. Natasha is the chairperson of the National Association of South African Sign Language Interpreters (NASASLI) and the World Association of Sign Language Interpreters Africa Regional Representative.


Omugur Julius PatrickOmugur Julius Patrick

Director Empower Special Needs Education Consultancy Uganda. 

  • Works a lecturer at Kyambogo University Faculty of Special Needs and Rehabilitation in Uganda from 2002 to-date. Teaching teachers, social workers and sign language interpreters at the department of special needs studies
  • Obtained a PhD in special needs education from Kenyatta University in 2016, Nairobi Kenya
  • Holds a Master degree in special needs education in 2007, Oslo University Norway
  • Holds a certificate in SLI and a diploma in Secondary school education and a degree in education all from Kyambogo University, Uganda
  • A practicing sign language interpreter for the deaf for over 25 years
  • Participated in the design of the sign language teaching curriculum and the primary teachers college teaching curriculum for all primary teachers colleges in Uganda at the department
  • Participated in the five-year Research project focusing on the development of the first Uganda SIGN LANGUAGE DICTIONARY resource book in collaboration with the Danish deaf Association (LF) and Kyambogo University
  • Worked with Action and Disability (ADD – a UK/Uganda based programme in Northern Uganda for seven years in the area of deaf development
  • Has done various consultancies with the NGO network in Uganda like CHESHIRE FOUNDATION Uganda, Uganda Rotary clubs as a presenter on deaf related issues, Ministry of Education and Sports, Uganda National Curriculum Development Centre(NCDC) among others.
  • Also Served as a founder member and president of the Uganda National Association of sign language interpreters (UNASLI)
  • Presented papers; one on the role of SLIs and the media, Uganda’s Experience in deaf peoples’ development, in Oslo Bristol Hotel and one for my doctoral study at Kenyatta University on The Teachers role in developing communication strategies for achievement of daily living activities by learners with deafblindness in regular primary schools in Uganda


Christian PetersChristian Peters

Lecturer, Department for Deaf Studies and Sign Language Interpreting, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Germany

Christian is an accredited interpreter and translator for German Sign Language and International Sign and a lecturer in the Department for Deaf Studies and Sign Language Interpreting at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin as well as a former president of efsli. He is currently involved in two ongoing European research projects and in the German Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs’s section of supplemental participatory counseling services for and with people with disabilities.  Moreover, he has taught classes in professional training programs designed for deaf Interpreters and sign language teachers at the University of Hamburg and at the University of Salzburg.

Cynthia RoyCynthia Roy, PhD, CSC

Independent Scholar, American Sign Language-English Interpreter, USA

Cynthia Roy retired as professor in the Department of Interpretation and Translation at Gallaudet University, Washington, DC, where she was also director of the BA program for five years, and director of the PhD program for five years. She earned a master’s degree in Linguistics from Gallaudet University and a doctorate in Sociolinguistics from Georgetown University. Her dissertation was published as Interpreting as a Discourse Processby Oxford University Press in 2000. Cynthia is also the series editor of the Interpreter Education Series, and editor of the first three volumes. She has published and presented about discourse analysis, interpreted interactions, and sociolinguistic studies in interpreting. With Jemina Napier, she co-edited the Sign Language Interpreting Studies Reader, published by John Benjamins in 2015.

Christian RathmannProfessor Christian Rathmann, PhD

Professor of Deaf Studies & Interpreting, Department for Deaf Studies and Sign Language Interpreting, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Germany

Christian is a German sign language linguist and director of Deaf Studies and Sign Language Interpreting at the Institute for Rehabilitation Sciences, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. Previously, he was a professor at the Department of Language, Literature and Media Studies at the University of Hamburg. He is the first deaf professor in Germany and the successor to the founder of the Institute for German Sign Language, Siegmund Prillwitz. He has a long history of involvement on projects in relation to sign linguistics, sign language teaching and sign language interpreting.

Octavian RobinsonOctavian E. Robinson, PhD

Assistant Professor of American Sign Language and Interpreting Studies, St. Catherine University

Octavian E. Robinson is assistant professor of American Sign Language and Interpreting Studies at St. Catherine University. He earned his Ph.D. in history from the Ohio State University. He has published chapters on deaf women’s history, ableist rhetoric, and deaf people’s campaigns for citizenship in the United States during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. He also writes about disability justice with a focus on signed languages. His current projects include essays on the public consumption of signed languages as a commodity, gendering the Deaf President Now civil rights movement, and a book on the deaf respectability politics of white deaf men during the turn of the 20thcentury in the United States. He also has collaborative works in progress on epistemic injustice in signed language interpreting discourse, disability justice in interpreter education, and impostor syndrome among deaf academics in higher education. He serves as co-editor of Journal of American Sign Languages and Literatures.

Christina SisonChristina San Buenaventura Sison, Registered Psychologist

Research Associate, Center for Education Access and Development, De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde

Christina is a researcher and assessment specialist whose passion is understanding the Filipino Deaf learners and in finding ways to help maximize their learning and academic performance. Together with this interest is understanding about their learning environment as well as the professionals who support their learning through research.  In her free time, she volunteers as sign language interpreter in religious services and self-development seminars.

Haaris Sheikh

Chief Executive, Interesource Group (Ireland) Limited, Ireland

Haaris Sheikh is Chief Executive of Interesource Group (Ireland) Limited.  He is also Adjunct Assistant Professor in Deaf Studies, Trinity College Dublin. He is pursuing a PhD, funded under the Irish Research Council scholarship, which is exploring the Deaf community’s experiences in employment using grounded theory. He has an undergraduate degree in Business Studies and Human Resource Management (BBS), and a Master’s Degree in Business (MBS), both from the University of Limerick, Ireland. He specializes in human resource management, business strategy, and policy and is retained is a consultant to several private and public sector organizations. He also specializes in digital media and is involved in content creation in the field of sign languages and interpreting.  He has successfully delivered on 17 European Commission projects in over 16 countries to date.  Currently, he is chair of the DESIGNS project, which runs from 2016-2019.

Naomi Sheneman, PhD

Naomi Sheneman has been working professionally in the interpreting profession since 2000 in various roles.  She is currently a freelance consultant, researcher, educator, and interpreter.  She recently completed her Ph.D. in Interpretation from Gallaudet University.  Her dissertation study focused on the impact of extralinguistic knowledge on interpreters’ work.  She co-developed ASL-English Interpreting Diagnostic Assessment Rubrics.  She co-authored a case study of hearing and Deaf interpreters’ work in an international conference involving several sign languages.  She also published a study on Deaf interpreters’ ethics.

Heather SchmermanHeather Schmerman

Heather Schmerman is a Certified Deaf Interpreter and American Sign Language Instructor with over a decade of experience in primary, secondary and higher education including Pennsylvania State University and Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia.  She has worked with the Graduation to Certification program under Catie Center at St. Catherine University and independently as a mentor for interpreters completing their training and preparing for their Registry for the Deaf Interpreter’s performance examination. She has worked as an ASL coach for professional interpreters, and consulted for theaters.  She has given workshops and consulted on a variety of communication needs for clients including AIRBUS, Temple University, Rutgers University, California State University, Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, and the Australian Association for the Deaf.  She has studied in Brisbane, Australia and Siena, Italy, traveled extensively in Europe and Southeast Asia, and is passionate about performance arts, language, and open-minded cultural exchange.

Hardeep SinghHardeep Singh

Deaf Empowerment trainer & Multimedia Specialist

Hardeep attends distance examination his Higher Secondary from National Institute of Open Schooling, Nodia, Uttar Pradesh. He was born to Deaf parents (Deaf CODA), He has completed various skill trainings for Deaf adults from reputed training centers in Delhi, India. He has been a part of Centum GRO Initiative (A Training Center for Deaf Adults) for 2 years. He worked as a volunteer with the initiative for one year. Post his volunteering tenure, he worked as Deaf Empowerment trainer. He used his multimedia skills to make creative videos in Indian Sign Language for Centum GRO’s curriculum and managed their Social Media handles. Hardeep is actively working with ‘CODA India’ in various projects it has been undertaking.

Christopher StoneChristopher Stone, PhD, NIC, RSLI, FASLI

British Sign Language/American Sign Language/International Sign-English Interpreter, Senior Lecturer, University of Wolverhampton, UK

Christopher Stone earned his PhD from the University of Bristol in 2006. His book, Towards a Deaf Translation Norm was published by Gallaudet University Press in 2009. His research interests are broad, exploring both deaf and hearing translators and interpreters from historical, linguistic, social, pragmatic, pedagogical and institutional perspectives. His interpreting practice is primarily academic conference interpreting. He is an active member of AIIC, an accredited WFD-WASLI IS interpreter and maintains UK (NRCPD) and US (RID) certification.  He has published and presented about Deaf interpreters, educational interpreting, interpreter aptitude (in the Journal of Translation & Interpreting, vol 9) and indexing multimodal resources in translated television news by deaf sight interpreters (in the 2019 Routledge Handbook on Translation and Pragmatics) and within situated learning environments with his colleague Thaïsa Hughes. His most recent edited volume with Lorraine Leeson Interpreting and the politics of recognition(2018) also covers many issues in relation to professional identity.

surbhi-taneja.jpgSurbhi Taneja, M.A

Development Extension, Indian Sign Language Interpreter

Surbhi holds a graduate degree in Political Science and English literature from St. Stephen’s college, Delhi University and a post graduate in Development Extension. She is a CODA (Child of Deaf adults), brought up in a bicultural and bilingual environment. She has worked as a freelance Sign Language interpreter for 5 years. From 2016 to 2018 she served as a Sign Language interpreter and business developer with Centum GRO Initiative, a job training centre for Deaf adults. She has also assisted her peers in the organization in various research projects related to accessibility needs for Deaf in India. Surbhi, along with a few fellow CODAs from Delhi, India has also started a group for CODAs called “CODA India”. Its objective is to provide support services to CODAs in India and generate awareness. She has a knack for art, reading, and writing about developmental issues.

Christopher TesterChristopher Tester, MSc, CDI, SC:L

Christopher is Deaf and an actor, consultant, educator, and an interpreter.  A seasoned presenter, he specializes in workshop and seminar facilitation on topics (not limited to) disability rights and laws, Deaf and hard of hearing awareness, and interpreting. He currently is an adjunct faculty member of the CUNY’s ASL/English Interpreter Education Program in NYC. He is fluent in American Sign Language, British Sign Language, and International Sign. Additionally, He has interpreted for several off and on Broadway shows, National and International conferences, at the United Nations and specializes in legal interpreting.   Chris received European Masters in Sign Language Interpreting at Heriot Watt University and received his Bachelor’s degree at the College of the Holy Cross. Additionally, he received his Professional Certificate from the CUNY’s ASL/English Interpreter Education Program. He is currently a PhD student at Heriot Watt University and is living in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Stacey WebbDr. Stacey Webb, PhD

Assistant Professor in Sign Language Studies, Programme Director (BSL); Disability Officer (LINCS)

Dr. Stacey Webb is an Assistant Professor in Sign Language Studies teaching British Sign Language/English interpreting and translation in Scotland, she is also a researcher and practicing interpreter (ASL/English).   Stacey holds a Doctorate of Philosophy achieved by conducting a research project  that explored the perceptions interpreter educators have about their work environment, their wellbeing and how such factors may impact student achievement and work readiness. Additionally, she holds a Master of Education in Education in Human Resource Studies specialising in Adult Education and Training. Her research interests include interpreting pedagogy, distance education, blended-learning and curriculum innovation, and the governance and management of higher education.

Yvonne WaddellYvonne Waddell, MA, RSLI, MASLI

Lecturer, Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh

Yvonne is a practicing interpreter, researcher and trainer with a particular interest in interpreting in mental health settings. This is the focus of her doctoral study and she has delivered training both in the UK and at European EFSLI Schools on this topic.  She has presented at both practitioner and Interpreting Studies conferences, and regularly delivers CPD sessions for interpreters as well as mentoring for novice interpreters. She is now part of the team delivering the online modules on the MSc programme at Queen Margaret University, including development of the module on the specialism of working in mental health settings.

Wenda Walton

NZSL Interpreter

Wenda Walton is a New Zealand Sign Language interpreter living and working in the capital of New Zealand, Wellington. Wenda graduated from NZ’s interpreting programme 22 years ago before going on to complete her undergraduate, and then Master’s degree in Applied Linguistics. She was the sole interpreter in a small city when she started her career, being one of less than 20 interpreters in NZ. This provided a vast wealth of experience in many settings along with many challenges. Wenda’s interests currently lie in government sector and community interpreting, and more recently health interpreting. She is also involved in research assistant work for the Deaf studies Research Unit at Victoria University of Wellington.

Dawn WesslingDawn Wessling


Dawn M. Wessling, M. Ed., NIC Master, has been working as a signed language interpreter for over 25 years and teaching interpreting and related topics in academic and workshop settings for 20+ years. She learned American Sign Language from the Deaf community while on active duty in the United States Navy and continues to have strong ties to the community. She serves as an associate instructor and staff interpreter for the College of Education and Human Services at the University of North Florida. Dawn received her Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Maryland, University College, Europe in 2006 and is a graduate of the University of North Florida with a Master of Education with a concentration in ASL/English Interpreting. She is currently working on her doctoral dissertation from Gallaudet University through the Department of Interpretation and Translation. Her research interests include cognition in natural ASL discourse versus interpreted discourse, interpreted emotional utterances, spoken English accent, and language policy in interpreter education. She has published studies and presented on research regarding language modality in interpreter education, video relay service interpreting, and language shaming in interpreter education in the US and Europe. She is the wife of a retired sailor, a mother to twins, and a native of New Jersey. Her hobbies include cooking, creative arts, reading Stephen King works and all things geek-related.



Lori WhynotLori A. Whynot, PhD., CI, CT, SC:L, NAATI, CORE Certified Health Care Interpreter

Postdoctoral Fellow, Radboud University, the Netherlands, Assistant Professor, Gallaudet University, USA

Lori acquired ASL and interpreting from community mentors in Boston, USA and at Northeastern University, and has interpreted professionally since 1990. She earned a master’s degree in Intercultural Relations from Lesley University, Cambridge, Massachusetts and a PhD in Linguistics from Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia. She has lived in 5 countries, interpreted in many more, but calls Melbourne Australia her second home. Lori is committed to the advancement of interpreting through teaching, mentoring, research, and professional supervision. She is certified by RID for ASL- English and by NAATI for Auslan-English (Australia). An interpreter educator since 1999, she established a mentorship program in California in 2006, and in 2014 she led a committee of the Australian Sign Language Interpreters’ Association to establish recognition of Deaf Interpreters in Australia. Her 2016 publication, Understanding International Sign, is an inquiry into IS structures and sociolinguistic factors for its comprehension.

London Corporate PhotographyMaya de Wit, MSc

PhD candidate, Radboud University, Centre for Language Studies

Maya de Wit is a certified sign language interpreter whose working languages are International Sign, NGT, ASL, as well as spoken English, German, and Dutch.  She also delivers training and consultancy on topics such as sign language interpreting techniques for high-level settings, raising professional standards of sign language interpreters, and optimizing the collaboration between consumers and interpreters. The author of “Sign Language Interpreting in Europe,” now in its fifth revised edition, Maya has been tracking the development of the profession in over 45 European countries and regions since 2000.  From 2006 to 2012, Maya was the president of EFSLI, the European Forum of Sign Language Interpreters. Early 2018, she started her PhD research on the topic of ‘International Sign Constructed Interpretation at International Conferences’. She is involved as a consultant for the VICI Project ‘Deaf Communication without a Shared Language’. Maya was the first sign language interpreter to become a member of AIIC, and is currently the coordinator of the global AIIC Sign Language Network.