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Scientific Committee | efsli2015

Scientific Committee


Robert Adam (United Kingdom)

Robert Adam is Director of Continuing Professional Development at the Deafness Cognition and Language Research Centre, University College London, responsible for organising short courses as well as BSL modules offered by DCAL. He is a registered ASL/BSL interpreter and BSL/English translator and has worked as Deaf Interpreter in various settings (local, national and international
events) for over 25 years. His continuing research interests include: Deaf interpreters, bilingualism and language contact.


Klimis Antzakas (Greece)

I am a sign linguist specializing in a variety of aspects of the structure of Greek Sign Language. I earned my PhD from City University of London. My area of research interest includes syntax morphology and phonology of Greek Sign Language.

Since 2004 I have worked as an expert in sign language at the Centre of Differential Diagnosis and Support (Ministry of Education). My primary aim is to provide support for deaf/hard of hearing pupils, their families in mainstreaming (nursery, primary and secondary education).

I have also been an active member of the Greek Association of Interpreters (SDENG) since its foundation (1991). I have worked as vocational trainer for sign language interpreter students and I am member of the Board of Exams for sign language interpreters. Currently I am member of the Board of SDENG.

Isabelle Heyerick

Isabelle Heyerick (Belgium)

Isabelle Heyerick (°1980) is a PhD student and lecturer at the University of Leuven, Belgium. Formerly, she was a linguistic researcher and coordinator at the Flemish Sign Language Center (VGTC). Her PhD research looks at interpreting strategies used by Deaf and hearing signed language interpreters. She holds a Master in Linguistics and Literature (Ghent University) and a Master in Interpreting (University of Leuven).  Ms. Heyerick teaches interpreting in both the Master in Interpreting and the post graduate training in conference interpreting. Other subjects she has taught include sign language linguistics and interpreting techniques. As a linguistic researcher for the Flemish Sign Language Centre (VGTC), she has conducted research on plurality in VGT and classifiers. She also designed the research methodology for a lexicographical project concerning VGT. Since the 2008 conference in the Netherlands, Ms. Heyerick has been an active contributor to efsli, either as a participant, presenter, member of the scientific committee, interpreter and/or organizer. Currently, Isabelle is also the chair of the scientific committee for the WASLI 2015 conference in Turkey.


Aleksandra Kalata-Zawlocka (Poland) (Chair)

Aleksandra Kalata-Zawłocka: President of the Association of Polish Sign Language Interpreters (STPJM). Lecturer at the “Polish Sign Language” Postgraduate Studies in the Faculty of Polish Studies at the University of Warsaw. Polish/English translator. About to defence her PhD on sign language interpreting in the Institute of Applied Linguistics at the University of Warsaw. Member of the European Forum of Sign Language Interpreters Research Fund Commission (eRF). Research interests: sign and comparative translatology (sign vs. spoken languages), ethicalisation and professionalisation of sign language interpreting, sign linguistics and sociolinguistics, Deaf culture.


Peter Llewellyn-Jones (United Kingdom)

Peter Llewellyn-Jones has been working as a sign language interpreter in a wide variety of settings. From 1988 to 2008 he interpreted for over 600 professional theatre productions. He is currently Managing Director and Director of Learing Programmes for Sign Languages International Ltd. He is honorary fellow of the University of Central Lancashire for “outstanding achievements” in the field of interpreting training. He is also Visiting Research Fellow at the Centre for Translation Studies, School of Modern Languages & Cultures, University of Leeds (UK). At present, he is the President of efsli and editor of the efsli Newsletter.

Maya de Wit_small

Maya de Wit (Netherlands)

Maya de Wit is a qualified Dutch Sign Language interpreter, RID Certified ASL interpreter, and International Sign Interpreter working across Europe. In addition, she is an international trainer providing presentations and seminars on sign language user rights, cooperation between interpreters and consumers, ethics, sign language interpreting techniques and skills for specific settings.

From 2006 till September 2012, Maya was president of the European Forum of Sign Language Interpreters (efsli). During her presidency she represented the interests of sign language interpreters at a European level, including the Council of Europe, the European Commission, and the European Parliament. Maya was also a board member of European Legal Interpreters and Translators Association (EULITA) and worked for ten years as the policy officer for the Dutch Association of Sign Language Interpreters (NBTG). In 2014 she was the first sign language interpreter in the world to become a member of the International Association of Conference Interpreters (AIIC).

In 2011 Maya obtained her master’s degree in the first European Master of Sign Language Interpreting (EUMASLI). Her research explored the sign language interpreter in inclusive education in relation to the view of Deaf persons on their quality of life. Her latest research is co-authored with Irma Sluis on the quality of sign language interpreters from the perspective of deaf sign language users. Maya has written several publications, such as ‘A Comprehensive Guide to Sign Language Interpreting in Europe, the 2012 edition’.


Christopher Stone (United Kingdom)

Christopher Stone, PhD, joined the Department of Interpretation at Gallaudet University spring 2013 as an Associate Professor. He earned his PhD in Sign Language Interpreting from the University of Bristol (2006) where he researched Deaf translators working within television news rendering English into British Sign Language, which resulted in his publication of Towards a Deaf Translation Norm (Gallaudet University Press 2009).

Dr Stone is currently in receipt of a Spencer Foundation grant for the project “The development of Deaf legal discourse”, which examines the use of ASL by Deaf lawyers. He has explored (with Dr. Robert Adam and Dr. Breda Carty) Deaf people working as translators and interpreters within the Deaf community and at the institutional interface. He is also studying on Deaf/nonDeaf interpreting teams in international conference settings with Dr. Debra Russell. His first postdoctoral research post was based at the Deafness Cognition and Language (DCAL) research centre, University College, London, undertaking a longitudinal study examining predictors for sign language learning and sign language interpreter aptitude, which he is currently completing.