CASR Research in Deaf Studies & Interpreting

Forthcoming Events

International Research Interpreting Seminars (IRIS)

Seminar for Interpreting & Deaf Studies students

Sponsored by The Centre for Applied Social Research (CASR)

Dates: Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Time: 6.15-8.45pm (approx)

Room: MC418*

& (provisional date and venue for part B) Tuesday, 7 February 2017 at the Arena Theatre, Wolverhampton*

Speaker: Sarah Gatford

Seminar Focus: ‘Performance Interpreting’ (parts A & B)


Theatre and events interpreting is an exciting and developing area of BSL/English Interpreting.

Whether you've got some experience in these domains or, if you're just interested in the thought of possibly one day doing some interpreting in theatre settings or at large scale events, this promises to be an informative and supportive session.

When you get that call to interpret a Performance, what is the first thing you need to think about and ask the theatre - and indeed yourself - before you can accept? What practical issues might you need to address? How can you communicate and work effectively with the theatre/venue staff to ensure you have what you need on the night of your interpreted performance?

This IRIS delivery will run in two parts (A & B). In part A, Sarah will set the ‘scene’ by taking you through the processes within theatre/performance interpreting from the initial enquiry/booking, right through to reflection upon the show/event.

About Sarah

Having qualified as a BSL/English interpreter in 2000, Sarah has vast experience interpreting in a range of community and high profile settings including education, employment, medical, conference and television. This combines with over 20 years’ experience of working as an interpreter in the theatre and at large scale events. She has delivered workshops over the years to enhance practitioner knowledge about how the processes and protocols work in this very different genre.

The skills acquired in these settings are transferrable to other areas - the standing on stage bit is only part of it!

Sarah lives in the East Midlands and works nationally across a range of venues.

*Attendees: Please remain alert to notice boards/WOLF in case of room/event changes

The interpreting subject will be seeking volunteers from the final year interpreting students to interpret this seminar. The session may be filmed for training purposes and photography may be taken for subject and school publicity.

Further queries to Sarah Bown,, Course Leader - BA (Hons) Interpreting: BSL/English

Previous Events

International Research Interpreting Seminars (IRIS) sponsored by The Centre for Applied Social Research (CASR)

Tuesday 10 November 2015 & Monday 29 February 2016, Seminar Focus: 'Interpreting within Legal Settings’

Seminar for Interpreting & Deaf Studies students (also open to Alumni of the programmes and interpreting work placement supervisors)

Speaker: Gloria Ogborn


The legal domain is a complex and multi-layered environment for BSL interpreters: it comprises many different types of courts, both civil and criminal as well as tribunals, a range of law enforcement agencies and legal advice agents.

Each of these different environments present different challenges to the interpreter, in terms of underpinning knowledge, linguistic challenges and professional/ethical considerations.

This series of two workshops will firstly look at the underpinning knowledge, i.e. an understanding of the roles of the different courts and agencies and then, in part two, we will discuss how we, as interpreters, can work within the domains.

It is generally accepted that trainees and newly qualified interpreters should not work within legal domains until several years after qualification but that does not preclude the usefulness of having an understanding and appreciation of the domain to determine whether it is a direction we want to work towards.

Further queries to Sarah Bown,, Course Leader - BA(Hons) Interpreting: BS/English

Seminar Focus: Broadcast Quality Interpreting’- Interpreting in the Media Domain - Speakers: Samuel Dore and Mike Ballinger -Wednesday 15 April 2015 in room MC001

Recent conference presentation:

  • IRIS (CASR) 'Interpreting in Mental Health' - Tuesday 24th February 2015 - MC418 with Alban Welch

IRIS 24th Feb 2015 Mental Health Alban Welch (PDF)

  • IRIS (CASR) 'Its not all about work' - exploring the interpreter's role in the workplace - Wednesday 12th November 2014 - MC228 with Dr Jules Dickinson

IRIS 12th Nov 14 Dr Jules Dickinson (PDF)

  • Bown S. & Dekesel K., (2014)  "Cooking without recipes" - The cognitive processes and strategies applied by trainee sign language interpreters.   Paper presented at EFSLI – European Forum for Sign Language Interpreters, Antwerp, Belgium, 12-14th September 2014

Contribution by Sarah Bown to Landmark publications formally launched at the European Parliament, Brussels, 17th December 2013, Jozsef Antall Building. 

  • *Leeson, L., Bown, S.,  Calle Alberdi, L. (2013) Assessment Guidelines for Sign Language Interpreting Training Programmes.  Madrid: Print House/efsli.
  • [Notes: Publication including contribution from interpreter educators and practitioners from the efsli/TCD Dublin, Working Seminar, February 2013, plus contribution by members of the Efsli Committee of Experts]
  • *Contributor as a member of the efsli Committee of Experts: Efsli (2013) Learning Outcomes for Graduates of a Three Year Sign Language Interpreting Training Programme. Madrid: Print House/efsli.
  • [Note: A 2 year collaborative project involving interpreter educators and practitioners across Europe.  With contribution by the Efsli Committee of Experts]

These comprehensive documents aim to ensure high quality interpreting services which in turn guarantee the right of access for Deaf and Deafblind people throughout Europe. They set the standard for the quality of sign language interpreter training across Europe and thus, high quality access for Deaf and Deafblind people.

Audience: Members of the European Parliament, Chair of the Disability Intergroup, Director Generals (DG) for Interpretation and conferences at the European Parliament, DG for Interpretation at the European Commission, DG for Translation at the European Commission, Executive Director of the European Union of the Deaf (EUD), Director of the European Disability Forum (EDF), President of the European Forum of Sign Language Interpreters, Representatives from Interpreter training organisations (Universities), Professors and interpreters/translators (sign and spoken language)

Consultancy: Sarah Bown has provided consultancy placement learning for a range of interpreting and non interpreting academic subject areas. This consultancy is built upon her internally and externally commended work placement model of excellence (placement learning design & management for sign language interpreter training) and includes dissemination for the following organisations delivering sign language interpreter training.

 a)Scottish Association of Sign Language Interpreters (training programme),

 b) Herriot-Watt University, Edinburgh (Sign Language Interpreter Training programme),

c) Trinity College, Dublin (Centre for Deaf Studies/sign language interpreter training programme)

d) DPSI – Introduction to the Diploma in Public Service Interpreting course, Birmingham (spoken language)

efsli (European Forum of Sign Language Interpreters)

Committee of Experts  eCE

“In the efsli AGM 2011 it was approved to establish an efsli Committee of Experts (eCE). This committee can be consulted by the efsli board for additional information on the consulted topics. The consultation of the eCE is carried out on a voluntary basis, and the advice of the eCE is considered by the efsli board, but not legally binding.

So far, the main task assigned to the eCE has been the preparation, in collaboration with the efsli board and staff, of the efsli publications Learning Outcomes for a Graduate of a Sign Language Interpreting Training Programme and Assessment Guidelines for Sign Language Interpreting Training Programmes, launched at the European Parliament in December 2013.”

The members of the eCE are:

  • Lorraine Leeson (chair eCE), Ireland
  • Sarah Bown, UK
  • Barry Allan Davey, UK
  • Ebru Diriker, Turkey
  • Zane Hema, UK
  • Robert Lee, UK
  • Jemina Napier, UK
  • Christian Rathmann, Germany
  • Beppie Van den Bogaerde, Netherlands
  • Camilla Warnicke, Sweden

International Research Interpreting Seminars (IRIS) (Faculty funded annual seminar series for Sign Language interpreting)

Established in 2011 by Sarah Bown, IRIS reflects the growing international trend of research, literature and publication within the sign language interpreting domain and fosters and promotes experienced and emerging talent.

See for IRIS events to date:

IRIS – International Research Interpreting Seminars: Past IRIS events include:

Daniel Roberts: Upper Limb Disorders and Sign Language Interpreting, 27th February 2014

Barry Alan-Davey: DeafBlind Interpreting:  A BSL interpreter’s perspective, 5th March 2013

Zane Hema: International Sign, 17th October 2013

Tariq Mahmood: Interpreting within the Deaf Muslim Community, 27th November 2013

Mike Ballinger:  Vicarious Trauma – Theory to Practice: identification and management strategies for sign language interpreters:  6th February 2012

Jonathon Field:  Medical Interpreting – Challenges, Complexities, Consequences: 24th October 2012

Russell Aldersson:  Current Research Trends in Applied Linguistics and Translation:  14th November 2011

Its aims are to:

  • Build upon the academic expertise within the subject and cognate areas within and outside the University
  • Disseminate innovative research and practice
  • Provide a bridge between interpreters, students, academic staff, international and national organisations
  • Provide Continuing Professional Development opportunities for professional interpreters