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WASLI Conference 2023: Our First Keynote

Shaping a resilient future; Which Way Africa?

About the keynote address

The keynote address will provide experiences, perspectives and opportunities from the African context in building a resilient future for the Deaf and interpreter communities. It will describe the various efforts and milestones being made by the Deaf and interpreting communities in the areas of sharpening up the national deaf associations to deliver evidence based legislative advocacy, enhancing recognition and awareness of sign languages and sign language interpreting as a profession and the place and nexus between Sign Language Interpreters Associations and National Associations of the Deaf. The presentation will also highlight the state of sign language interpreting services in various sectors. The achievements, challenges and opportunities in sign language interpretation training, registration and accreditation will also be largely underscored in the presentation. The presentation will conclude by pointing out what remains to be done in order to build a better future for deaf and interpreter communities in the African context.

Leonida Kaula
Washington Sati


Ms Kaula is the immediate former president of the Kenyan Sign Language Interpreters Association (2012-2022). She has been a freelance interpreter for the past 26 years working in various settings with special interest in conferences, educational and television interpreting. Since 2011, she has also been interpreting the parliamentary proceedings of the Parliament of Kenya on the national broadcaster. Besides, she is a sessional Lecturer at the Kenyan Sign Language Research Project, University of Nairobi and Technical University of Kenya.

Ms Kaula is currently pursuing a PhD at the University of Nairobi. She holds a Master’s degree in interpretation, Bachelor's degree in Communication and Sociology, Diplomas in Social Work & Community Development and Counselling Psychology. She also has Certification in Sign Language Interpretation Teaching from the Centre for Language and Sign Supported Communication- Denmark.

In addition to interpreting, Ms Kaula is passionate about teaching and mentoring young professionals in sign language interpretation. Through Center for Sign Language Interpreting Services (CESLIS), an interpreting agency she co-owns with another interpreter, she organizes professional development initiatives aimed at equipping interpreters with necessary skills to enhance their competence.

Ms Kaula has also presented papers locally and in international conferences including WASLI in Turkey 2015 and Paris 2019.


Commr. Washington Sati, is a Commissioner and the Vice Chairperson of the Commission on Administrative Justice (Office of the Ombudsman). He’s currently pursuing a PhD in Political Science and Public Administration at the University of Nairobi. He holds a Master’s degree in Human Rights and Governance, a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Sociology and a Diploma in Community Work and Social Development from University of Nairobi.

Before his appointment as a Commissioner and Vice Chair of the Commission on Administrative Justice, he was the Deputy Director In Charge and Head of Research and Compliance at the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights. He also served as Principal Program Officer at the National Gender and Equality Commission in the year 2016-2018.

As a deaf human rights activist, Mr. Sati is a member of the Advisory Board of the Kenya National Association of the Deaf and has provided technical guidance around organizational development and project management to a wide range of deaf organizations in Kenya and beyond. His work has been published in public health journals. He has presented at Global HIV and social science Conferences in Belgium, Canada, Mexico, the US, Turkey and the Netherlands.

Welcome Speech by WASLI President

WASLI welcomes all the interpreters and friends to the 5th World Association of Sign Language Interpreters Conference in Jeju, Korea on 5 – 9 July 2023.

The theme is Shaping our World for a Better Future and will build on the successes of the past 4 conferences. This is an important opportunity to better our understanding of our profession and our allyship to Deaf Communities and the wider public.

I am looking forward to learning about the latest research findings, and new trends in our field from researchers and interpreters who will be presenting. at the conference.

The program has been firmed up and it looks excellent and exciting. I foresee that the networking opportunities will be indeed fantastic. The quadrennial opportunity for cultural exchange in a single place would definitely enhance the ambience of the meeting and provide lasting memories beyond the WASLI.