Direct Learn home | Online conferencing home | Contact us



More presenter information will be added as soon as it becomes available.

John AndersonJohn Anderson (USA)

John works as the Mainstream Adjustment Counselor for the Mainstream Center at Clarke School for the Deaf/Center for Oral Education. He grew up with a progressive hearing loss and now uses a cochlear implant. He earned his MA in counseling psychology from Antioch New England Graduate School in Keene NH. He is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in Massachusetts. He works primarily with students in the mainstream who are struggling to succeed either academically and/or socially. He frequently gives workshops on experience of hearing loss for students in mainstream schools and is the author of a children's book on adjustment to hearing loss called My Hearing Loss and Me: We Get Along Most of the Time.

Karen Bontempo Karen Bontempo (Australia)

Karen has practiced as an Australian Sign Language (Auslan) interpreter for nearly 20 years and has worked as an interpreter educator since 1996. Karen is an examiner for the National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters and serves on the national board of the Australian Sign Language Interpreters’ Association. Karen holds academic qualifications in a number of disciplines including clinical psychology, education, and linguistics. She is a member of the Centre for Translation and Interpreting Research at Macquarie University in Australia, where she is also a PhD (Linguistics) candidate, researching factors that may be predictive of interpreter performance.

Cathy Clark Cathy Clark (Australia)

Cathy is the Coordinator of the Centre of Excellence for Students who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing at NMIT since 2004. Cathy previously worked in TAFE NSW as a Teacher/Consultant and was a manager of a Job Network agency.

In her current role, Cathy has managed several projects funded through the Victorian State Government related to the delivery of Auslan through distance education, assistive technology and professional development, support for Auslan interpreters working in TAFE. She also manages a booking service of Auslan interpreters in TAFE. She is currently teaching the Certificate IV Training and Assessment to a group of deaf learners.

Cathy is a passionate advocate for the right of deaf and hard of hearing people to access an education and sound employment opportunities. Cathy holds a Bachelor of Adult Education and the Certificate IV in Training and Assessment (NMIT).

KPip CodyPip Cody (Australia)

Pip has been working as an interpreter since 1992, and as an interpreter trainer since 2003. She holds a BA in Linguistics, a Graduate Diploma in Auslan (Interpreting), and a Graduate Diploma in Counselling. She has a long-standing interest in addressing the issues around the high attrition rate amongst newly qualified interpreters in Australia.

Marc CurtisMarc Curtis (Australia)

Marc has worked for Videaf for five years and currently manages the Auslan Teaching and Interpreting Department. His background has been in business management with a particular emphasis on the community sector.

Marc has worked with many high profile organisations; in particular, Marc was employed by the Department of Defence to review their Army, Navy and Air force recruiting process in view of achieving target.

In more recent times Marc has worked in the Job Network managing several labour market programs.

Earl FleetwoodEarl Fleetwood (USA)

Earl Fleetwood has worked as a professional interpreter for over 25 years. He holds a Master’s Degree in ASL-English Interpretation from Gallaudet University where he has also taught as an adjunct instructor. He is nationally certified as both a signed language interpreter and a cued language transliterator and has worked at the national level with several organizations for the rights of Deaf native cuers. Mr. Fleetwood is co-founder of Language Matters, Inc. an, organization that provides a series of ASL-English interpretation courses approved for graduate and undergraduate credit by the American Council on Education. In addition to working as an interpreter and an interpreter educator, he has conducted research related to linguistics and interpretation, with a focus on the K-12 setting. Most recently, Mr. Fleetwood serves as co-editor of the series Studies in Interpretation published by Gallaudet University Press.

Caron HawkingsCaron Hawkings (UK)

Caron's interpreter training commenced at Bristol University in 1994 at the old age of 35, where she achieved a Diploma in Higher Education in Deaf Studies (Interpreting) in 1996. She qualified by the Post Grad Diploma in BSL/English Interpreting in 2002. She have experience of both university education and vocational training routes for learning BSL

Her interpreting started in education, then she gained a wide breadth of experience in community interpreting to the point now where she work mainly with Deaf professionals. She currently works part-time for a Deaf-led private interpreting agency and is part-time freelance/self-employed. On her freelance days she interprets, mentors and is involved in training programmes for interpreters and mentors. Feedback is a crucial part of mentoring and training but she also sees it as part of her every day work with co-interpreters and clients (both Deaf and hearing).

She has been involved with her professional association (ASLI) since 1996 and her most recent position has been that of Professional Development Secretary (director post) until the end of 2008. She continues to oversee the ASLI mentoring programme.


Sandra Leane Sandra Leane (Australia)

Sandra is NAATI accredited at Interpreter Level and has been a practising Auslan/English interpreter for many years. She has an MA in Linguistics from Monash University and originally trained as a teacher of the deaf but has been working in TAFE part time for the last fifteen years. Presently Sandra works part time as a staff Auslan/English interpreter for Vicdeaf and a part time teacher at Kangan Batman TAFE. A founding member of the Victorian sign language interpreter association (AVID) Sandra is the immediate past President and currently Acting President of ASLIA Vic. She also teaches one module in the current Diploma of interpreting (Auslan) delivered at the RMIT.

Robert G. LeeRobert G. Lee (UK)

Robert has worked as an American Sign Language-English Interpreter for over twenty years in a variety of settings, specializing in medical situations and conference interpreting. He holds an MA in Applied Linguistics from Boston University and has taught Interpreting and Linguistics at Northeastern University in Boston as well as in seminars all over the US, Canada, the UK and Europe.

In addition, he has taught online courses for training Interpreting Mentors. Robert has authored or co-authored a variety of articles and chapters on both Interpreting and the linguistics of American Sign Language. He has served on the boards of the Conference of Interpreter Trainers as well as serving on the Professional Standards Committee and the Publications Committee of the National Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID) in the United States. He is currently a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Interpretation published by RID.


Peter Llewellyn-JonesPeter Llewellyn-Jones (UK)

Peter qualified as Social Worker (and interpreter) in 1972 and has, at different stages of his career, been head of the interpreting services for both the Royal National Institute for the Deaf and the British Deaf Association. From 1978 to 1981 he was a Research Associate at Bristol University and, with Dr Jim Kyle, worked on the first research project in the UK to focus on sign language interpreting. In 1992, he wrote the BA (Hons.) in Interpreting for Wolverhampton University and, in 1997, SLI Ltd. (a training company established by Peter and Dennis Cokely) signed a formal partnership agreement with the University of Central Lancashire to develop and teach a Postgraduate Diploma in BSL - English Interpreting (for which he is still Joint Course Leader). Peter developed the MA for Leeds University in 2003.

Ben KarlinBen Karlin (USA)

Ben entered English/ASL interpreting from the community after being asked by a friend to interpret a job interview. "You," the friend said, "don't make me sound stupid."

Right from the start he was shown interpreting involves more than language, or language-and-culture. There are issues of identity and face, of the position and presentation of interactors in each other's presence. While the exchange of information is vital, so are the dynamics. His interest in interpreters' ethics springs from this observation.

From this beginning he his work has included educational-from pre-kindergarten to post-graduate-as well as vocational and medical settings. For nine years he was at St. Louis (Missouri) Psychiatric Rehabilitation Center and co-chaired the development and administration of a training program for mental health interpreters. For the last three years he has been working as a video interpreter for Sorenson Video Relay Service. He holds both state and national interpreting certifications and is on the membership committee of the National Council for Interpreting in Health Care. Presentations include Critical Link IV and V in Montreal and Stockholm, as well as at the First and Second International Conferences on Mental Health and Deafness in Washington DC and Copenhagen. By far his favorite conference, however, is this one and he is eagerly anticipating the discussion here.

Melanie MetzgerMelanie Metzger (USA)

Melanie is a professor and coordinator of the master’s degree program in the Interpretation Department at Gallaudet University. She is an interpreter practitioner, an interpreter educator, and her research focuses on sociolinguistic examinations of interpreted interaction. She is certified as both a signed language interpreter and as a cued language transliterator, and has served as president of the TECUnit, certifying body for CLTs. She holds an MA in Linguistics from Gallaudet University and a Ph.D. in Sociolinguistics from Georgetown University. Her publications include, Sign Language Interpreting: Deconstructing the Myth of Neutrality and she is co- editor of the series Studies in Interpretation published by Gallaudet University Press.

Geoff MinshullGeoff Minshull (Technical Support)

Geoff works for Direct Learn Services. He has been in further education since 1983, mainly in the UK, during which time he has worked with a wide range of businesses and organisations. He has also worked and lectured extensively in Southern Africa, Central America, and the USA. Geoff has been involved in online education for many years, and has worked with LEAs, colleges and universities, as well as national educational organisations. He has been running online conferences and other online events since 2001. His first degree was from Sussex University in Economics, and he has an MSc from Loughborough University in Computers and Education.

Judith MoleJudith Mole (Conference chair)

Judith founded Direct Learn Services in 2001 after working in education since 1992. A graduate of the University of Derby, she started working with Deaf students while at college and has since managed support units for Deaf students both at Sheffield Hallam University and at the University of Wolverhampton, where she was also a member of the board of governors. She has worked both in the higher and further education sector. She has managed a number of projects for the University of Wolverhampton which created online BSL/English dictionaries for art, science and engineering as well as a BSL/English dictionary for ICT for the DfES Standards Unit. She has written a number of publications and books on supporting Deaf students. Judith has a first degree in Drama, Film and Television Studies as well as a PG Cert in TESOL from Sheffield Hallam University.


Jemina NapierJemina Napier (Australia)

Jemina has many years experience of interpreting and an MA in BSL/ English Interpreting from Durham University in the UK. While working as a BSL/ English interpreter she specialised in mental health, conference, media and educational interpreting. She coordinated the Sign Language Interpreters Training Course at the City Literary Institute in London for two years, before moving to Sydney, Australia in 1998. Since that time Jemina has become accredited as an Auslan/English Interpreter, and is now an examiner with the National Authority for the Accreditation of Translators and Interpreters.

In 2001 she completed her PhD thesis looking at linguistic coping strategies of sign language interpreters, which has been published by the Forest Bookshop in the UK. Jemina continues to work as an interpreter in either BSL, Auslan or International Sign, although most of her time is spent lecturing and on research. She now co-ordinates the Postgraduate Diploma in Auslan/ English Interpreting at Macquarie University in Sydney Australia, and was recently awarded a research fellowship, which will investigate Auslan interpreting and comprehensibility. She has published several articles and book chapters discussing the interpreter role, interpreting strategies and teaching of interpreters.


Tamara PearceTamara Pearce (Australia)

Tamara began work as an interpreter in 1995. After many years of community interpreting she went on to work behind the scenes managing an interpreting agency. During this time she became interested in training and undertook post-graduate studies in Vocational Education, completing a Graduate Diploma in Industrial Education and Training. She has taught in the Diploma of Interpreting and conducted numerous workshops. Tamara has previously worked in the Victorian TAFE system supporting institutions to provide access for Deaf students. She currently undertakes project work and has recently completed evaluating an Interpreter Mentoring Program for interpreters in Victoria, Australia.

Lynette ReepLynette Reep (USA)

Lynette Reep, CI and CT, has taught dozens of workshops on ethics and empowerment for interpreters across the United States and in Canada since 2004. She attended Northeastern University's "Basic Interpreter Training Program" in Boston before the widespread advent of four-year training programs, and credits her current abilities as well as her emphasis on collegial support and collaboration to the extensive informal mentoring she received from experienced interpreters and Deaf consumers early on. A strong believer in the importance of drawing on both internal and external resources, her teaching strives to recognise and support colleagues at every level of experience.


Linda SpencerLinda J. Spencer (USA)

Linda J. Spencer PhD is an assistant professor in the Department of Communicative Disorders & Sciences at the State University of New York at Geneseo. She also holds a complimentary appointment as an Investigator on the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics Children's Cochlear Implant Project where she was an assistant research scientist with and a research assistant for the past 15 years. Her interests include examining the speech-language and literacy development of children with hearing loss and also those who use cochlear implants. She earned her bachelor's and PhD degrees in speech and hearing science at the University of Iowa. Her current line of research involves examining the relationship of phonology, language skills and reading abilities in children with normal hearing and in children with hearing loss. Her publications have appeared in Journals such as Ear and Hearing, Journal of Speech-Language-Hearing Research, Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, Laryngoscope, and the American Journal of Audiology. She is also on the editorial board of the Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education.

Ruth SwanwickRuth Swanwick (UK)

Ruth is a senior lecturer in deaf education at the University of Leeds, UK. She leads the MA in Deaf Education programme, which is a distance education course leading to the mandatory teacher of the deaf qualification. Her research focuses on the use of sign language in the education of deaf children and ways in which this supports language and literacy development. This has grown out of her teaching experience with deaf children who require access to both sign language and a spoken/written language for their learning (sign bilingual).

Her recent funded research includes an ESRC project looking at deaf children's early literacy experiences in the home. This was a collaborative project with the University of Birmingham. She has also led a Nuffield funded project looking at the role of sign language for deaf children with cochlear implants. Other research interests include deaf children's phonological development and their learning styles and experiences. At a national level, she am actively involved in policy and research initiatives to develop sign bilingual practice in schools and services. Her energies are currently focused on developing more international collaboration between researchers and practitionners.