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Supporting Deaf People 2008

Date: February 2008

The 2008 conference had two themes: d/Deaf education and educational interpreting.

It was attended by 242 participants from 18 countries. Another very busy conference with 936 postings in the theme discussion areas, and many more in the social and general discussion areas.

During this conference the presenters submitted a number of different presentation formats, e.g. PowerPoint presentations with speaker notes or audio (with transcription), papers and video examples to support a paper presentation. Formats were converted to Flash for fast download and viewing. We also had a live web cast with signing in American Sign Language, and captioning.

Feedback for the conference was excellent, and included:

"overwhelming, educational, fun & thought-provoking all in one"

"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."

"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!"

The papers are currently not available, but we are hoping to produce an ebook of the proceedings of the conference in due course.


Theme One: d/Deaf Education

  • Keynote presentation: Language and Learning by Deaf Students. presented by Loes Wauters, Marc Marschark, Patricia Sapere and Carol Convertino
  • A Deaf Student’s Perspective on Mainstream Education presented by Dawn Watts
  • The use of sign language in examinations for Deaf students in Higher Education presented by Lynne Barnes, Kath Mowe and Maureen Nicholson
  • SigAm - The bilingual education of deaf project. presented by Knut Saltnes
  • Ten years of bilingual deaf education in Norway - where are we? presented by Arnfinn Muruvik Vonen

Theme Two: Educational Interpreting

A late addition to the programme was Using Wimba to Provide Equal Access of Information to Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students in On-line courses by Dr. Sam Slike and Ms. Pam Berman from Bloomsburg University. This demonstrates using live web casting supported by closed captioning and an interpreter, to provide online course content. The archive of the web cast is at:

Click on Archive of Wimba Session SDP 2008 Presentation. Then select Participant login. Give a Participant name (no password required). You then get asked if you want to run a wizard, to check if your computer can play it; or, in smaller print, it says " If you have completed the wizard previously, click here to enter". The wizard checks your Java, audio, if you've got popups enabled, etc. It's not essential to try the wizard, since this is a recording, but if you have problems, it might be worth it. The recording has a window with an American Sign Language interpreter; a window with the PowerPoint slides being displayed; audio of the presenters and the audience; and closed captioning, which is switched on and off by entering /cc in the text box.