What is WASLI?

In this post, we will go through exactly what WASLI is, what they stand for and much more information about them! We hope you find it informative and useful and, most of all, you enjoy the post 🙂




WASLI stands for World Association Of Sign Language Interpreters, and their mission is to develop the profession of Sign Language around the world. During the 14th World Congress of the World Federation of the Deaf in Montreal, Canada, on 23rd July 2003, WASLI was formed.

60 interpreters representing 20 nations, together with WFD General Secretary Carol lee Aquiline, saw the establishment of WASLI. The representative from South Africa agreed to host the first WASLI Conference in 2005. Upon their creation, WASLI was determined to get as many interpreters and interpreter associations throughout the world as possible. The WASLI office is located in Australia.

A sponsorship programme was created to help raise money to assist those from poorer nations to be able to visit the first-ever WASLI Conference in South Africa. This monumental event held over 220 delegates from over 40 countries.

Their website provides a summary of information in a variety of languages, including:

–          Portuguese

–          Arabic

–          French

–          Russian

–          Kiswahili (Swahili)

And more! As well as advancing the profession of Sign Language interpreting worldwide, they will also:

  • Encourage the existence and development of national associations of Sign Language in countries that do not currently have them and maintain their establishment
  • Support existing nations with pre-existing associations of Sign Language interpreters
  • Support Sign Language interpreters working at international events such as sporting events and conferences
  • Liaise and workout solutions with spoken language interpreter organisations and other organisations with similar interests
  • Encourage research to develop further Sign Language interpreting around the world
  • Work in partnership with Deaf and Deafblind associations on Sign Language interpreting issues.


WASLI work in partnership with:

–          World Federation of the Deaf (WFD) 


–          World Federation of the Deafblind (WFDB)


–          Association interntionale des interprètes  de conférence (AIIC)


To help them on their mission to develop the profession of Sign Language around the world, as well as aiding these organisations in their own missions to help their respective area of the deaf community.


WASLI have regional representatives who have all experienced success:

  • North America – Mexico hosted the First Regional Conference of North American Sign Language Interpreters in July 2014.
  • Asia – Hosted the WASLI Board meeting and held a very large regional meeting of interpreters during the WFD R/S conference in Macau in August 2014.
  • Africa – Conducted their regional representative election process with international observers helping to oversee the process.
  • Balkans – Continue to provide training for sign language interpreters.
  • Transcaucasia – Hosted a regional conference in Kyiv in 2012.
  • Australasia/Oceania – Hosted regional meetings during the ASLIA conferences and provided training for Fiji interpreters.
  • Latin America – Collaborated with FEBRAPILS to host the second Latin American Conference of Interpreters and Translators in Brazil in 2013; ten interpreter associations were formed and joined WASLI.


All of these representatives are contactable, and donations can be made to the organisation (WASLI) via PayPal – http://wasli.org/donation

WASLI approaches its work with great integrity. A key component of WASLI’s work is its professionalism, commitment to lifelong learning, and setting and following standards in its interactions. WASLI ensures it is accountable to its members for its decisions.

We here at terptree hope you have found this information useful. It’s given you an insight into how Sign Language interpreters connect together around the world. The deaf community is made up of many different people, interpreters included. So it’s great to showcase the work that is happening to really change the world for deaf people.

Be sure to check back to see what other insightful posts we publish. If you wish to check out WASLI yourself, visit their official site here – http://wasli.org/