The Maurice Thorez Institute of Foreign Languages
Moscow State Linguistic University

International Seminar at MSLU: “Deaf Interpreters of Sign Language: From Training to Services”

On September 28th, MSLU hosted the international seminar “Deaf Interpreters of Sign Language: From Training to Services”. The seminar was organized by MSLU together with the Moscow municipal branch of the Russian Association of Deaf People and the Centre for Education of Deaf People and Sign Language named after G.L. Zaytseva. 
According to MSLU’s Acting Rector Irina A. Krayeva, the seminar was relevant not only for linguists but was of great social significance for the development of inclusive education and recognition for every student and citizen. Before the beginning of the seminar, the organizers met in order to sign a memorandum on cooperation between MSLU and the European Forum of Sign Language Interpreters (EFSLI). Within the framework of the memorandum they are planning to do large-scale work to exchange experience and develop the culture of a new kind of specialists, sign language interpreters.
In her speech, EFSLI’s President Ivana Bućko emphasized the need to involve Russian sign language interpreters into the forum: "Two things make me happy today: first of all, the dream of my childhood has come true – I am in Moscow, and secondly, we have signed a document which is very important for our cooperation and which will enable us to communicate with Russian deaf interpreters more often. When I was elected President of EFSLI a year ago, I set myself the goal to involve our Russian colleagues into our work. And today we did it!" 
A.A. Komarova, Director of the Centre for Education of Deaf People and Sign Language, member of the World Association of Sign Language Interpreters and the Council of the Association of Sign Language Interpreters, also emphasized the significance of the meeting in her welcoming speech: “Our communication and our exchange of experience are important for everyone: for students of sign languages, for the faculty and social workers who help deaf people adapt. MSLU are pioneers of sign language teaching. The university has been training specialists in dozens of languages for more than half a century, and finally a new specialization has appeared, which is very relevant in the modern world: interpreters for the deaf, teachers of the Russian sign language”. 
The participants of the seminar also discussed the reports of G.N. Gavrilova, head of the organization department of the Moscow branch of Russian Association of Deaf People: “Deaf Interpreters in Moscow: Why Do We Need Them?” and A.A. Komarova’s report: “Interpreter or Communicator?”. The seminar ended with a workshop presented by sign language specialists A. Brazhinskas (efaliDI) and R. Leonavichene (LASLI) “A Deaf Interpreter: Who is S/he?”.

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