World Federation for the Deaf (WFD)

World Association of Sign Language Interpreters & World Federation of the Deaf

WASLI is committed to working with the World Federation of the Deaf (WFD).

The WFD is an international non-governmental organisation representing approximately 70 million Deaf people worldwide. Visit the WFD website at:

The WASLI President, Liz Scott Gibson, met with the WFD President, Markku Jokinen, early 2007 to begin the process of meeting and working together. From this meeting came the decision to make a ‘Joint Statement’ that embodied the commitment to work together.

The WASLI Executive Board and the WASLI Board agreed a joint statement. There were two events to officially sign the Joint Agreement. In preparation for the ‘signing’ two huge posters of the Joint Agreement were produced, one for WASLI and the other for the WFD.

On 13 July 2007 at the WASLI Conference in Segovia, Spain, the WASLI President signed the Joint Statement in the company of WFD Representative Mr Joe Murray. Delegates from around the world attending the WASLI conference added their names and countries to the copy for the WFD. Two days later, the WASLI President and the WFD President signed both copies of the Joint Statement in front of the WFD General Assembly in Madrid.

The copy signed by the WASLI Conference delegates was presented to the WFD.

On Nov 08, 2017 at the WFD conference in Budapest Hungary, the WASLI President, Debra Russell, and WFD President, Colin Allen, signed an updated cooperation agreement.

Click here to see the Joint Agreement (in English and Arabic, Portuguese, Spanish)

Our work continues in collaboration with the WFD, in that we have produced shared guidelines for the hiring of interpreters for international conferences, and a second document providing guidelines for hiring International Sign interpreters for specific United Nations events.

The WASLI Board

WASLI is proud to work with World Federation of the Deaf for inclusion of Deaf and Hard of Hearing in United Nations.


WFD-WASLI IS Interpreter Statement

Resolution Linguistic Rights of the Deaf  Moscow 2014

Communication during Natural Disasters    Document

Interpreter Guidelines for UN Events