29 - 30 March 2017
Gallaudet University
Washington, DC

Registration is closed.


Janis Cole, Co-chair

Dr. Steven Collins, Co-chair

Darla Konkel, Registration

Kirsi Grigg, Media

Gallaudet University and the Department of Interpretation and Translation are pleased to announce that we will be hosting the first International Research Deaf Translation Summit. This inaugural summit will be held at Gallaudet University on March 29-30, 2017.

The intent of the inaugural 2017 Signed Language Translation Global Research Summit is to create a Deaf space and serve as a platform for interdisciplinary research from various fields including Deaf scholars, professionals, educators, translators and students. The purpose is to exchange and revisit the roots of translation, discuss critical topic related to signed language translation both practices and research. The summit will provide an informal venue and a chance to have participants’ engagement to convent and share perspectives on the global issues and concerns in relation to our field of translation.

You are personally invited to attend to responding to Research Deaf Translation Summit: The Role of Translation and Translators and best practices. The Summit will feature one keynote presenter on Wednesday evening, three plenary sessions on Thursday 8.30-5 pm that leads to a facilitated of breakout group discussions topic that will explore of importance in great detail related to the presentation and and attempt to draw some meaningful conclusions for future action plan and an endnote presenter for the closing event.

Keynote Speakers

Robert Adam

Dr. Robert Adam

Opening Keynote Speaker
Deafness Cognition and Language Research Centre
University College London
In the beginning was the Deaf translator, or was it?


Robert Adam is Director of Continuing Professional Development at the Deafness Cognition and Language Research Centre, University College London. He is a qualified sign language interpreter and translator and has worked as a Deaf interpreter in Australia, the USA and the UK. His research interests along with Deaf interpreters are bilingualism, language contact and minority sign language communities. He is also Coordinator of the World Federation of the Deaf Expert Group on Sign Language and Deaf Studies. He is from Melbourne, Australia and currently lives in the UK.

Dr. Christian Rathmann

Dr. Christian Rathmann
Endnote Speaker
Institut für Deutsche Gebärdensprache und Kommunikation Gehörloser der Universität
Experiences of Deaf Translators as a Foundation for Building a Theory: A Grounded Theory Approach


Christian Rathmann is professor and chair in the department of Deaf Studies and Interpreting at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin Germany (from April 1st 2017 onwards). Before that he is professor and chair at the Institute of German Sign Language and Communication of the Deaf at Universität Hamburg where he directs two BA and MA programs in “Sign Languages” and “Sign Language Interpreting” as well as two professional programs in “Sign Language Interpreting and Translation” and “Sign Language Education” for Deaf Sign Language Users. Moreover, he has been involved in another professional program in Sign Language Interpreting and Translation for Austrian Deaf professionals since 2013. He obtained his doctorate degree in linguistics at the University of Texas at Austin in 2005. He has been engaged and leading in a number of German and European projects focusing on sign language interpreting & translation and second language acquisition & learning as well as in sign language linguistics. Since 2011, he has been a certified interpreter and translator.

Plenary Speaker

Dr. MJ Bienvenu

Dr. MJ Bienvenu

Professor, Department of ASL
and Deaf Studies
Gallaudet University

Painting White Stripes on Road: Looking Back and Forward  


A native ASL signer, originally from Baton Rouge, LA, MJ received her BA in English and MA in Linguistics from Gallaudet in 1974 and 1983, respectively. She received her Ph.D. from Union Institute and University in 2003 in Interdisciplinary Studies, with specialization in ASL Linguistics and Lexicography. She worked at Gallaudet in various departments; including Linguistics Research Lab and English, for a total of 11 years. She then moved to be a co-director of The Bicultural Center for 7 years. She later became a director of Language and Culture Center for 3 years before she came back to Gallaudet.

MJ is presently a professor in the Department of ASL and Deaf Studies. She had served Gallaudet University in various capacities, as chair of Gallaudet Sesquicentennial Celebration, co-chair of the SLCC planning and building, co-chair of re-writing the Gallaudet University Mission Statement, and is now co-director of MA in Sign Language Education.

MJ has published several ASL teaching materials (Faces of ASL and ASL Numerical Systems) and several American Deaf Culture videos and workbooks. She was also a sign model for the first ASL instruction books, also known as the Green Books.. She also presented to schools, colleges and universities and centers around the country, Canada, Europe, Japan, Israel, and Cyprus on topics of Sign Language Instruction, Culture, Oppression and Empowerment, Cross-cultural Interactions and Interpretation.

MJ worked on several translation projects with Gallaudet University, as well as some private and federal institutions.

Monique Holt, MFA, CDI, DASL

Monique Holt, MFA, CDI, DASL

Translation Texts: An Insight into the Translation Strategies


Monique Holt is an actress, director, translator and a Certified Deaf Interpreter. Recognizing the great power of ASL in telling stories, she has been translating written texts into ASL since teen. Drawing from experience and through trial and error, she has been refining her approach to translation. Monique developed a unique cognitive-linguistic approach and notation system to support her translating work. A life-long student of the arts, she’s constantly experimenting and innovating.

Christopher Tester, MsC, CDI, SC:L

Christopher Tester, MsC, CDI, SC:L
Consultant, Educator, Interpreter,Trainer
Contemporary Translations


Christopher Tester, MsC, CDI, SC:L, WFD-WASLI Accredited IS Interpreter, is Deaf and a consultant, educator, interpreter and trainer. A seasoned presenter, he specializes in workshop and seminar facilitation on topics (not limited to) disability rights and laws, Deaf and hard of hearing awareness, and interpreting. He currently is an adjunct faculty member of the CUNY’s ASL/English Interpreter Education Program. He has interpreted for several off and on Broadway shows, National and International conferences, at the United Nations and specializes in legal interpreting.

Chris received Masters in Science and Communication at Heriot Watt University and received his Bachelor’s degree at the College of the Holy Cross. Additionally, he received his Professional Certificate from the CUNY’s ASL/English Interpreter Education Program. He resides in Manhattan.

Click here to view the program schedule.

Contact Information

Many of us will also be attending the Symposium on Signed Language Interpretation and Translation Research immediately following the Summit.
Please join us for the Symposium!