It’s great to see the heights that Deaf and hard-of-hearing academics are reaching all over the world. We have Deaf doctoral candidates and faculty members across the States and across disciplines – including engineering, medicine, linguistics, and more.
Of course, it’s important that all researchers participate in conferences to share their results, stay on the forefront of academic progress, and remain socially connected to their field. This is where professional associations play a big role in making sure that their conferences are accessible by providing ASL-English interpreters or captioning services. Even more important, those service providers should be knowledgeable themselves about the content that is being presented so that Deaf and hearing interactions rise to the highest professional caliber.
We helped a humanities research association make sure their events are accessible to Deaf and hard-of-hearing attendees while keeping costs in balance. Previously, they had been recruiting interpreters from the cities in which they held their annual conference. While this kept travel expenses low for the association, it meant that their staff had to spend time finding academic-caliber interpreters in a new city each year, which is especially difficult in cities where local universities don’t have research programs in the association’s field.
Instead, the association now partners with The Kyle Duarte Company to provide a consistent, academically-trained team of interpreters to their annual event. We coordinate the team, reducing the scheduling load on the research association’s staff, and the association offers shared accommodations in the conference hotel to our interpreters.
Deaf, hard-of-hearing, and hearing academics who attend this conference have noticed the difference. Now, they look forward to having a top-notch team of academically-trained interpreters who will provide seamless language services for keynotes, paper presentations, poster sessions, and social events throughout the event.
We Can Help
Ready to make your academic conference equally accessible in both American Sign Language and English? We offer free consulting services to all our clients to ensure that events are designed to maximize interpreting impact without being a big cost burden for your organization. We can also, of course, provide stellar interpreting services that are sure to wow your attendees.
The Sign Language Linguistics Society (SLLS) has published an article on best practices for accessibility at professional meetings, available on the SLLS website.