FAQs

How do I go about setting up a sign language interpreter association?
There are a number of steps involved in establishing a sign language interpreter association and these steps may vary from country to country. WASLI believes it is important for sign language interpreter associations to be working closely with the National Association of the Deaf. WASLI has produced some guidelines on this. For more details click on Setting Up a National Association Sign Language Interpreter training courses or training programmes are available in some countries and not others. If you are looking for a course/programme in your country then contact your regional representative. You can also contact your Deaf Association or use the Internet. See How do I contact my regional representative?
How can I find a course in Sign Language Interpreting?
Sign Language Interpreter training courses or training programmes are available in some countries and not others. If you are looking for a course/programme in your country then contact your regional representative. You can also contact your Deaf Association or use the Internet. See How do I contact my regional representative?
How do I get help to have Interpreter Training in my country?
There are many countries that wish to develop interpreter training. WASLI is limited in what it can do or provide but we do have an extensive network of contacts that may be able to assist in giving advice, information and resources. You should contact your regional representative.

Where can I find resources for training interpreters?

There are a number of websites and publishers that produce resources for interpreters. For example check out:

  • www.dawnsignpress.com
  • www.forestbooks.com
  • http://gupress.gallaudet.edu/
  • www.johnbenjamins.com.
  • You can also contact your regional representative, your interpreter association, your Deaf Association and make use of the internet. If there are other links you know of please let the secretary know.
How do I become a supporting WASLI member?
Some people have found the WASLI membership information confusing. The WASLI membership fee structure is designed so that those from wealthier countries pay more those that are not. For this reason we make reference to the GDP (Gross Domestic Product) of a country.

WASLI membership fees payable consider the GDP and other factors depending upon the membership category you wish. Because of this you need to refer to a number of different documents.

Here is an example:

Let’s say a Deaf organisation from Canada wishes to become a member. They would apply for WASLI Sponsoring Organisation membership (not NATIONAL or PROVISIONAL membership which are for sign language interpreter associations or associations in formation)

In order to find the fee you first of all need to know the GDP of the country.

In the case of Canada the GDP is $32,900 – See the document on Countries and their GDP. It’s in Appendix B of our Governing Document.

Then you need to go to the membership fee schedule that sets out the different fees payable according to the membership category. See the document Membership Fee Schedule. It is Appendix A of our Governing Document.

You will see that an Organisation with GDP of $32,900 would have an annual
membership of $USD50.00

If this organisation wanted to pay by PAY PAL, they could do so by going to WASLI Membership>Sponsoring Member

Robin Demko is the WASLI Membership secretary and she will be happy to help you. You can contact her at membership@wasli.org

Fees for all WASLI membership categories are calculated in USD regardless of where in the world you are.

When was WASLI created?
WASLI was in the making for many years.  The decision to establish a World Association took place in July 2003 during the World Congress of the World Federation of the Deaf in Montreal Canada.  The first WASLI Conference took place in Worcester, South Africa in 2005.  For more details clickon WASLI History.
How do I contact my regional representative?
Click on The WASLI Board and all our Representatives are listed there.  Simply click on their names and you will be able to email them from our website. If you are unsure of which region you belong to refer to the schedule of WASLI regions and their countries. Governing Document>AppendixC

Where is the next WASLI Conference?
The next WASLI Conference will take place in Turkey.  Planning for this conference is in its’ early stages.   The dates and venue for the conference are not yet confirmed.   WASLI will provide further information once this is to hand.  Click on WASLI 2015.

What is the WASLI 2015 Sponsorship Programme?
This programme raises funds to assist colleagues to attend the WASLI 2015.  It was used for WASLI 2005, WASLI 2007 and WASLI 2011.  WASLI has used the experience of running the programme previously and will run an improved programme for WASLI 2015.
For more information contact the WASLI Secretary.

How do you become an International Sign Interpreter?
There is increasing interest in interpreters who want to become an International Sign interpreter.
International Sign is seldom taught and often acquired by an interpreter who is already proficient in the native sign language and has developed a lot of experience in communicating with Deaf people in an international setting where the main form of communication is International Sign.   This may develop further into opportunities for interpreting.
This seems to still be the best advice.
There seems to be an increasing demand in the use of Deaf people as International Sign interpreters with a resulting trend in hearing interpreters now working more into a spoken language (usually spoken English) or to work in partnership with a Deaf interpreter as a relay.
There have been instances where International Sign training or workshops have taken place.  Training is a usual feature before a Deaf international event gets underway.
If you wish to discuss the matter further, you should contact the regional representative.  See ‘How can I contact the regional representative?’
(WASLI defers to the World Federation of the Deaf, as the representative body of the international Deaf community, on issues related to International Sign and its use and recognition as a language.)
Does WASLI offer employment?
WASLI is able to do what it does because of the many people who give voluntarily of the time and energy.  WASLI does not employ any one at the moment. 
How do I go about booking interpreters for our international event?
If you are holding an international event and wish to book sign language interpreters, then you should contact the appropriate WASLI regional representative and provide them with details of your event.  They will be able to advise you further.  (See how to contact the regional representatives.)
How can I donate money to WASLI?
WASLI is able to do what it does because of the many people who give voluntarily of the time and energy. WASLI’s main source of income is from membership. Donations are welcome and if you would like to make a donation then click on WASLI Publications>Go to the WASLI Shop>Make a Donation
Can I donate other things to WASLI? Time?
Yes you can.  You may for example, be able to donate your time, or perhaps some equipment that you no longer wish to use, or some resources that could benefit others.  If you are able to assist WASLI in anyway to help out with the work of the Association then contact the WASLI Secretary
How can I buy the WASLI Conference proceedings?
WASLI has produced 2 publications (1) from the 2005 Conference in Worcester, South Africa and (2) from the 2007 Conference in Segovia, Spain.
Both of these are available for sale and can be purchased by going to WASLI Publications>Go to the WASLI Sho
Is there a model Code of Ethics for sign language interpreters my country can use?
Several sign language interpreter associations have kindly agreed for WASLI to make their Code of Ethics available on the website.  These can be a useful resource to countries developing their own Code of Ethics.
For more details click on Code of Ethics
What are appropriate working conditions for interpreters?How much should interpreters be paid?
The amount interpreters are paid varies from country to country.  In some countries the government pays for the interpreter, in others an organisation of the Deaf association or the Deaf person pays and in other countries interpreters are not paid at all.  This means it is difficult to answer the question.
As Deaf people continue to campaign for equality and recognition of sign language as their human right, so will the sign language interpreters be able to work alongside Deaf people in order to gain recognition of the profession and the need to address this issue.
For a global look at the situation of interpreter services in the context of Deaf people’s human rights, there is a comprehensive report completed by the World Federation of the Deaf.
Can Deaf people become interpreters?
Yes they can. WASLI supports the notion of Deaf people being able to train and work as interpreters. The WASLI Vice President, Juan Druetta of Argentina, is also a Deaf interpreter. The situation regarding Deaf interpreters varies from country to country. For more details click on Deaf Interpreters.
I would like to support interpreters in other countries – how can I do that?
There are a number of ways that you can support interpreters in other countries. For example you may wish to sponsor (pay their membership for one year) a WASLI member (contact the Membership Secretary) or you may wish to participate in the WASLI 2015 Sponsorship Programme (see above).

You may have other ideas of supporting other interpreters. Please let us know your ideas. Contact the WASLI Secretary.