The World Federation of the Deaf (WFD) and the World Association of the Sign Language Interpreters (WASLI) have recently established an International Sign (IS) Interpreter Accreditation system. A total of 20 individuals have been awarded the official status of ‘WFD-WASLI Accredited IS Interpreter’ after being assessed, through closed applications, by a panel of six of experts .
The Accreditation aims to set, maintain and promote standards in International Sign Interpretation as detailed in the ‘WFD-WASLI International Sign Interpreter Recognition Interim Policy and Guidelines’. It acts as a quality-assurance system for credentialing practitioners who meet those standards. The accreditation also strives to create and maintain a lifelong professional development system. In doing so, it officially recognises practitioners who have had extensive working experience with the WFD and WASLI in the international arena, and award them with the accreditation for a period of five years.
Much of the WFD and WASLI advocacy work is in the international forums such as meetings of the WFD, WASLI, Deaflympics, the United Nations conferences and Committee sessions related to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) in New York and Geneva, International Congress on the Education of the Deaf (ICED), European Union of the Deaf (EUD) seminars and meetings, and European Commission funded research project meetings and conferences.
In all these platforms, International Sign is the primary mode of communication. Since its inaugural appearance at the WFD Congress in 1987, demand for International Sign Interpreting has grown over time. It now consists of both hearing International Sign interpreters as well as Deaf International Sign Interpreters.
‘With the accreditation, coordination of acquiring International Sign Interpreters for deaf consumers in the international forums would be greatly streamlined. Deaf consumers in the international arena can now be assured of having International Sign Interpreters, who are qualified and competent. This is It will reduce the challenges within the procedure to contact the accredited International Sign Interpreters.’, said WFD President Allen.
“This process is an exceptional example of joint WFD-WASLI work that will result in positive recognition of the complicated and sophisticated skill sets required by International Sign interpreters. By identifying the competencies and criteria, thus process will also provide a ladder approach for those who aspire to work at the international events that are crucial for our organisations to function effectively.”, Debra Russell, WASLI President.
You can view the list of WFD-WASLI Accredited IS Interpreters here.
The second round of applications will be open to all in early 2016.