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Information on previous SDP conferences

We have been running SDP conferences since 2001. At the time this was a ground breaking event. Online conferences were in their infancy. Home internet use was not widespread and most people were on dial-up connections. Nevertheless, we had 130 delegates from 10 countries. The keynote speakers were Dennis Coakley (USA), Miranda Pickersgill (UK) and Frank Harrington (UK). Themes were: Ethics and Professionalism; Educational Interpreting; Training/Qualifications. See here for more info and to download some of the presentations.

Some feedback about the conference:

"Excellent in terms of cost, excellent in terms of flexibility and access. I would have real problems attending a 'normal' conference due to childcare issues, so this was a real bonus for me. It also enabled people from much further away to participate... So I think we had a more international mix than would have been possible otherwise. I thought the idea was great and it worked really well for me. It never really occurred to me that this type of thing might be possible, but I think it was really effective."

"I would do this again in a heartbeat. The level of the discussion and supportive, respectful tone of the comments set it way above many live forums (or online, too) that I have been in."

Click the links below for more detailed information on the actual conferences and to download some of the previous presentations and papers.

SDP 2004

We ran the second SDP conference with a revised and reworked conference environment. Themes were: Ethics and Professionalism; Language with keynote presentations from Betsy Winston (USA), Graham Turner (UK) and Tyron Woolfe (UK). It had 225 participants from 19 countries. To see some of the feedback for this conference, see here.

Some feedback:

"The preconference plan was superb, to be able to read the papers and take notes a week before the conference. Good thing someone emailed me and warned me that the papers were ready to be read. Just many thanks for this great opportunity to share with great minds. I felt my own philosphy was solidified, congealed, affirmed, and shared! Cannot do that much in a hotel conference!"

"I find this the most accessible format for updating my professional perspectives and theoretical knowledge. Yes, you have to keep on top of everything daily, but with a young child its perfect for me as I do not have to geographically go anywhere but mentally get to go a fair few miles! I found the summaries useful as I tended to have to skim read some of the postings and the summaries helped me consolidate and it does sift out some of the more social postings. Having 4 topics then another 4 is a manageable way of approaching the topics and we will all have our pet topics which we involve ourselves in more. Its great to be able to see approaches from all over the world of course. I do not enjoy computers but found it no problem to use the system so it must be simple!"

SDP 2005

The 2005 conference dealt broadly with three themes: Language support, interpreting and deaf people in developing countries. It had 192 delegates from 17 countries. Keynote presenters were en Dodds, Lynne Barnes, Claire Haddon, Kath Mowe and Kyra Pollitt (UK), Marc Marschark and Patty Sapere (US) and Jemina Napier (AUS). Another presenter was the deaf president of the Deaf People's Association of Ethiopia. Amazing how technology can bring people together.

Some feedback:

"I would like to say I think this was the best conference I have ever attended. I hope I don’t sound insincere when I say the experience was almost indescribable. The wealth of knowledge, experience, and perspective brought by the delegates and presenters alike was amazing." Tammy Adams, USA.

"It seems like every year, the conference gets better and better!! I really enjoyed myself!". Jennifer Sabo, USA.

SDP 2006

The 2006 conference had two themes: interpreting and deafhood/deafnicity. Keynote presenters were Paddy Ladd (UK) and Richard Brumberg (USA). It was attended by 189 delegates from 18 countries.

Some feedback:

"What an awsome format!"

"I am impressed with the format of this conference, and the audience! It is my first time here, and it's different from other online 'teaching' and 'conducting' that I have been doing online for quite a few years now., mainly for other topics. There's a nice climate here - feels like a very supportive culture, and that is probably in large part due to the skills of the conference organizers, as well as the interactions across four days, and the combined interests of all here."

SDP 2008

The 2008 conference had two themes: d/Deaf education and educational interpreting. It was attended by 242 participants from 18 countries. Keynote presenters were Brenda Schick (USA) and Loes Wauters, Marc Marschark, Patricia Sapere and Carol Convertino (Netherlands and USA).

Some feedback:

"This was one of the best conferences I have ever experienced – whether in person or online. The caliber of the presentation materials and conference participant posts far exceeded my expectations. I look forward to the next SDP online conference and will definitely recommend this conference to others."

"Clearly, I really enjoy this conference! The flexibility, easy-to-navigate style and non-threatening interaction with fellow delegates keep me coming back year after year. The presentations are thorough and relevant to my work. What an asset SDP is to the learning process of interpreters worldwide!"

SDP 2009

The 2009 conference had two themes: d/Deaf Education, and Ethics and Professionalism. Keynote presenters were Melanie Metzger and Earl Fleetwood (USA) and Peter Llewellyn-Jones and Robert G. Lee (UK). It was attended by 225 participants from many different countries.

Some feedback:

"More addictive than Facebook"

"This was my first SPD and I wanted to thank you for all the incredible work that you did pre-conference, as well as during. WOW!! What an amazing experience. I hope to return for more of this type of learning."

"As usual, it was awesome. Thanks again for all your efforts. It makes us better professionals"

Some of the papers and discussion summaries have been published in three books, entitled:

  • International Perspectives on Interpreting
  • International Perspectives on Language Support
  • International Perspectives on Educational Interpreting

See here for content information.

SDP 2010

Our biggest and best SDP conference so far! Keynotes were from Kelly Murphy (Warning: Explicit Content! Profanity as a function of language and strategies for interpreters) and Anna Mindess and Thomas K. Holcomb (Recognizing politeness differences between deaf and hearing cultures: a key to effective interpreting). There were 332 participants, and around 1500 postings.

Feedback for the conference was, as always, excellent, and included:

  • This has been my first SDP On-Line Conference. It has been incredibly informative as well as providing opportunity for more thought.
  • Wow, what a conference this year!! Every year they keep getting better and better. This years topics and discussions were excellent.
  • This is definitely my favorite conference to attend, by far! You can attend in your pyjamas with your own coffee and the discussions are fascinating.

The conference publicity web site, with abstracts and presenter information, is available at: