Maya De Wit
Maya De Wit
Interpreter and Consultant
Baarn (Utrecht), Netherlands
Sign language interpreting worldwide
As a consultant interpreter, I like the complexity of coordinating multiple sign and spoken language teams and guiding the organisers through the process of working with interpreters before, during and after the event, whether it is on-site or online. Working with the international and national deaf communities has provided me with many inspiring opportunities. One of my most memorable projects is the translation of the 2019 European Parliament election video into 31 national European sign languages.
A Few Noteworthy Projects
- Interpretation service provider and Chief Interpreter, Tech A11y Summit, online, December 2021
- Interpretation service provider and Chief Interpreter, ICSLA Conference, Istanbul, June 2018
- Interpretation service provider for International Sign interpretation, COSAC meetings in cooperation with Congrestolken, The Hague, spring 2016
- International Association of Conference Interpreters (AIIC)
- European Commission
- European Parliament
- Council of Europe
- United Nations
- World Federation of the Deaf (WFD)
- Registry of Interpreters of the Deaf (RID), USA
- Register Tolken Gebarentaal (RTGS), Netherlands
- World Association of Sign Language Interpreters (WASLI)
- European Forum of Sign Language Interpreters (EFSLI)
- Dutch Association of Sign Language Interpreters (NBTG)
- Conference of Interpreter Trainers (CIT)
- European Union of the Deaf (EUD)
Testimonials From Clients
I have had the pleasure of working with Maya De Wit in her various capacities, as interpreter, as interpreter coordinator, and as an advisor and mentor. During the organization of the major conference “Multilingualism and equal rights in the EU: the role of sign languages”, with over 1,000 participants from all over Europe, Maya was the main interpreting advisor. The historic conference, which took place in the hemicycle of the European Parliament in Brussels, brought together more than 145 interpreters, who worked together in the 24 spoken EU languages and the 31 European sign languages. Maya supported us throughout the organizing process with her expertise and impressive network, both via email and in person. As always she was professional, friendly and keen to ensure the interpreters worked in the best possible environment. This was especially important for the sign language interpreters, as many of them had never worked at the European Parliament, since prior to the conference only Flemish Sign Language, Hungarian Sign Language and International Sign had been used for official meetings and conferences.
I worked with Maya de Wit for the 3rd International Conference on Sign Language Acquisition (ICSLA2018). The official conference languages were Turkish Sign Language, American Sign Language, International Sign, Turkish and English. In addition, there were two further teams of sign language interpreters, making a total of 16 interpreters working for this three-day conference. Obviously, the success of a conference is very largely dependent on how accessible it is to the audience, so if the interpretation fails, your conference fails!
From the moment we agreed to work together for ICSLA2018, Maya de Wit coordinated the whole interpretation process – from selecting the best interpreters (ASL & IS) to coordinating different language teams, bridging the communication between presenters and interpreters, and even closely monitoring the sync among different interpreter teams during the presentations. She also guided me by being very open in her communications with the organizing committee and conference attendees and being clear about every single need of the interpreters. She was more than an interpreter coordinator – more like the conductor of an orchestra! I would like to reiterate the point that I made about her in my speech during the closing ceremony. Working with her was one of the best decisions that I have made in my life.
Calliope and its members all belong to the International Association of Conference Interpreters (AIIC), which sets standards in the field of conference interpreting.