Presentations, Panels and Workshops

Presentations, Panels and Workshops

Please see the abstracts and presenters for each presentation, panel and workshop below, in programme order.

Shared responsibility for the promotion of the participation and achievement of Deaf children presenting with a signed language communication disorder : What is the Educational Interpreter’s role?

Deaf Education professionals have a shared responsibility for the development of Deaf children’s communication.

Deaf children presenting with signed language communication disorders require specific specialised strategies to promote their communication development.

This presentation will describe the benefits of a collaborative classroom-based intervention, using a social interactionist approach, to promote the participation and achievement of Deaf children with signed language communication disorders in their learning.

The presenters will explore the role of the Educational Interpreter in this context, as a collaborative classroom team member, and will demonstrate specific communication strategies they have found effective when working with this population of Deaf children.

Alice Bennett
Speech-Language Therapist/Specialist Services Team Leader, Kelston Deaf Education Centre
Deaf Interpreting NZ Committee Member

Alice trained as a Speech-Language Therapist in Birmingham, UK, graduating in 2008. The following decade was jam-packed with working in Deaf Education in both the UK and NZ, moving to Auckland with her husband in 2011 to join the Kelston Deaf Education Centre speech-language therapy team, and qualifying as a NZSL interpreter last year. Alice thoroughly enjoys incorporating interpreting theory into her SLT practice when collaborating with colleagues to address the communication needs of our Deaf signing learners.

Noreen Wilson
NZSL Interpreter

Noreen has worked as a NZSL interpreter in Education for a number of years. More recently she worked in classrooms with students presenting with Communication Disorders. She experienced how working alongside the educational team including working closely with SLTs was very successful in achieving students’ communication goals.

Kelly Hodgins
NZSL Interpreter

Kelly Hodgins is a qualified New Zealand Sign Language Interpreter who graduated from Auckland University of Technology in 2002 with a Diploma in Sign Language Interpreting. She has worked as an educational interpreter at both compulsory and tertiary level, as a staff interpreter and within the community. Kelly also holds a Postgraduate Diploma in NZSL/English Interpreting from Macquarie University.

Joking aside: What work does humour do in interpreted interaction?

Humour is an important interactional tool which can be employed by interpreters to navigate communication trouble-spots, and build rapport between themselves and participants (Henley, 2017). Humour in interaction often stretches an interpreter’s role-space boundaries (involving them as a person), but few studies have considered the attitudes and experiences of participants with regards to interpreters’ responses to humour (eg, Major 2013). This session will start with an overview of Rosie Henley’s (2017) research on how a team of two interpreters manage moments of humour and laughter in a meeting, and then pose questions for discussion about the role of humour and laughter in interpreted interaction – for example, how much leeway interpreters have to participate in humour, how interpreters’ strategies for managing humour are viewed by other participants, and how humour may contribute to relationships in interpreted interaction.

Rosie Henley
Rachel McKee
Associate Professor, NZSL Studies, Victoria University of Wellington

Rachel is a lecturer and researcher at Victoria University of Wellington,  directing the NZSL programme. Working as an interpreter in NZ and USA led on to an academic career in applied linguistics. Rachel has established (with her husband David) training for NZSL interpreters, Deaf teachers of NZSL, and second language learners of NZSL. Research publications have included interpreting studies, documentation of NZSL (dictionary and grammar), sociolinguistic variation, and language policy for sign language users. Rachel was the inaugural president of SLIANZ, and has served on many professional and advisory committees relating to NZSL and interpreting over the last three decades. 

Systems Transformation/Enabling Good Lives

Enabling Good Lives is a vision and a set of principles around the provision of disability support in New Zealand.

Government’s response to this vision has been to embark upon ‘Systems transformation’ – revising the way in which services are provided, funded, and managed. There have been several phases in this Systems Transformation, with two pilot programmes testing out the principles in Christchurch and the Waikato, and a current large scale prototype in the mid-Central region (Mana Whaikaha).

The prototype takes a ‘try, adjust, and learn’ approach, which means that the parameters of service provision are flexible although there is no overall increase in funding. It is not certain yet whether the revised system will be rolled out nationwide.

This workshop will begin with a facilitated panel discussion about the current situation of the Mana Whaikaha prototype. The panel consists of a member of the National EGL Leadership Group, a Deaf representative on the Mid Central Leadership group, and a sign language interpreter working in the Mid Central area.

Following the panel discussion, there will be an opportunity to discuss concerns from within the Deaf community and from interpreting service providers and individual interpreters around possible implications of the systems transformation with regard to interpreting. Some examples of concerns are:

  • Deaf people’s choice of who they want to interpret for them vs. the need to guarantee quality of service and supporting the development of interpreting standards.
  • Are interpreters ‘business-ready’ as free-lancers to take on work when directly hired by a Deaf person? (e.g. indemnity insurance, arranging payment).
  • Are Deaf people prepared for the practicalities of booking individual interpreters?
  • What are the implications for interpreting agencies?
  • Does the EGL principle of ‘Mainstream first’ apply to the Deaf community’s language context?
  • Will interpreters start to see work in areas with which they are unfamiliar?
  • Given the current regional spread of interpreters, what happens in areas where interpreters cannot readily be found or have to travel long distances to get to jobs?

The overall aim of the panel / workshop is to update interpreters on EGL developments, to raise awareness about possible implications, and to determine what SLIANZ’s involvement in the process should be going forward.

Sarah Billing
NZSL Interpreter, SLIANZ

Sarah graduated as a New Zealand Sign Language Interpreter in 2002. She was co-opted by SLIANZ to report back on her experiences under the System Transformation and Mana Whaikaha.

Annette Hansen
Mid-Central Regional Leadership, Enabling Good Lives
Toni “Antnz” Burgess
Adventurer and Social Policy Consultant, Enabling Good Lives; National and Regional Leadership Groups; Antnz Ventures

Antnz is a Disabled Person’s representative on  Enabling Good Lives; Regional and National Leadership Groups.  Antnz has a background in community development, youth work, adult education and outdoor recreation. Antnz has a passion to see all New Zealanders fully included in all aspects of New Zealand society, including access to information in appropriate formats for all.

Micky Vale
Sign language interpreter, Database manager for the NZSL Online Dictionary; SLIANZ

Micky  divides her time between various work roles. As an interpreter, she works mainly in tertiary education and employment settings. She is the Database Manager of the Online Dictionary of New Zealand Sign Language, and also teaches and works as a research assistant on various projects at the Deaf Studies Research Unit, Victoria University of Wellington.  Originally Dutch, Micky qualified as a BSL/English interpreter in the UK and also completed an MA in Sign Linguistics there before moving to New Zealand in 2004. Micky completed a PhD in Applied Linguistics in 2017. She is currently SLIANZ President and has previously been a SLIANZ committee member in 2005-6, 2008-2010, and President in 2011-2013.

Interpreters as agents of language ideology

Behind the scenes, the work of interpreters has supported Deaf advocacy for language recognition and access rights. Since NZSL recognition, interpreters have been increasingly asked to work in visible public arenas and in domains where NZSL has never been used before – for example political, civic, arts events. Interpreters’ presence is often motivated by organisations’ desire to acknowledge the status of NZSL and to demonstrate accessibility policy. While some parties welcome this trend as “good exposure for NZSL”, it could be argued that interpreters in such situations are being asked to serve as agents of language promotion. Rather than mediating access for actual participants in these settings, NZSL interpreters may be primarily performing language representation, which is not a role that spoken language interpreters commonly fulfil.

To date the impacts of such assignments – which usually present maximum demands with minimum control – on interpreters are unexplored. This year I am inquiring into ideologies and practices around the role of interpreters in sign language recognition. In this session I will outline some themes emerging from my data, and invite interpreters to participate in my inquiry by workshopping questions such as:

  • How common is it to interpret in situations without a present deaf audience?
  • What factors do interpreters consider in deciding to accept or decline such jobs?
  • How do interpreters see their purpose in these ‘new’ visible contexts? How do Deaf people see their purpose?
  • How do interpreters/Deaf people feel about the expectation of livestreaming?
  • Are interpreters invited to comment on the (linguistic) feasibility and logistical challenges of interpretation in ‘public platform’ situations?
  • What is the role of interpreters in language promotion?

My purpose in raising these questions is not to detract from the value of interpreting in new areas, but to encourage collective reflection and enable interpreter voice on some of the constraints, dilemmas and impacts that interpreters experience in doing (or possibly not doing) such public and difficult work.

Rachel McKee
Associate Professor, NZSL Studies, Victoria University of Wellington

Rachel is a lecturer and researcher at Victoria University of Wellington,  directing the NZSL programme. Working as an interpreter in NZ and USA led on to an academic career in applied linguistics. Rachel has established (with her husband David) training for NZSL interpreters, Deaf teachers of NZSL, and second language learners of NZSL. Research publications have included interpreting studies, documentation of NZSL (dictionary and grammar), sociolinguistic variation, and language policy for sign language users. Rachel was the inaugural president of SLIANZ, and has served on many professional and advisory committees relating to NZSL and interpreting over the last three decades. 

Why I now have a forever connection with Formula One press conferences (…something I’ve never had before, ever.)

Wenda is going to metaphorically expose herself. She will do this by dissecting one piece of work she’s done, namely a post cabinet press conference during NZSL week this year. And she’ll tell you what she finds. She’ll also tell you why formula one racing press conferences and post cabinet press conferences are basically first cousins.

I invite you to dissect your own piece of livestreamed or broadcasted interpreting and bring along your findings to have in mind as we run through our work. I hope to have time to swap discoveries.

Alan and I will also squeeze in a bit of a brainstorm about preparing for jobs like these. Bring your practice along and we’ll throw them in the mix with what we’ve found useful or otherwise.

Wenda Walton
Alan Wendt

Peer Mentoring, Mentoring, Coaching and Supervision

The SLIANZ Tuakana-Teina programme has been developed and formalised in the past few years and is a successful model for supporting new graduates with a tailor-made programme of professional development and mentoring.

SLIANZ are looking into the possibility of extending this model more widely, or alternatively to consider other models of mentoring, coaching, supervision, and peer mentoring.

In this workshop we will feed back information gathered from a recent membership survey and will give participants an opportunity to discuss mentoring further, with a view to giving the new SLIANZ committee guidance on the next steps for a SLIANZ-run mentoring programme.

Rose Butler-Stoney
Micky Vale
Sign language interpreter, Database manager for the NZSL Online Dictionary; SLIANZ

Micky  divides her time between various work roles. As an interpreter, she works mainly in tertiary education and employment settings. She is the Database Manager of the Online Dictionary of New Zealand Sign Language, and also teaches and works as a research assistant on various projects at the Deaf Studies Research Unit, Victoria University of Wellington.  Originally Dutch, Micky qualified as a BSL/English interpreter in the UK and also completed an MA in Sign Linguistics there before moving to New Zealand in 2004. Micky completed a PhD in Applied Linguistics in 2017. She is currently SLIANZ President and has previously been a SLIANZ committee member in 2005-6, 2008-2010, and President in 2011-2013.