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Unconscious Bias (workshop held in Devon & Cornwall region)

30th November 2019 @ 9:30 am - 5:00 pm


Exploring Unconscious Bias: An introductory workshop for Sign Language Interpreters & Translators

Unconscious Bias (UB) is increasingly in the news, as an explanation for people’s discriminatory behaviour and as a way of addressing such behaviour, e.g. through UB training.

Interpreters have said that training would be useful to help understand more about UB, and so this is a workshop to address that. Discussion of UB then naturally leads us into an exploration of how it offers us a lens through which to evaluate some of the norms that contextualise and influence the way we think, understand, and work.

In this very interactive workshop, where all of our thinking on and experience of these issues will be useful, we explore three main areas:

Unconscious Bias:

  • What is unconscious bias?
  • The Implicit Association test (IAT) – how do you test for it, and what do you do when you find it?
  • The wider context – UB in the real world.
  • What is the evidence for UB and UB training?
  • What does unconscious bias look like in the real world?

Unconscious Bias and the interpreter / translator:

  • How does unconscious bias impact on interpreters / translators?

Unconscious Bias and interpreting / translation:

  • The challenge for interpreters and translators.
  • Strategies to address unconscious bias.
  • Continuing to develop our thinking (included recommended reading).

During the morning we will explore unconscious bias and the IAT, then in the afternoon we begin to apply this thinking to our profession and ourselves, using examples to have focussed discussions. We’ll end by looking at what we can do, and next steps.

Josef Baines and Darren Townsend-Handscomb will be delivering the taught sections, and facilitating the discussions. As this workshop will focus on bias and discrimination, we want you to note before you book to attend, that whilst there are many facets to our identities, both Josef and Darren are white, middle aged (Darren at least), middle class, men. If this is a barrier to your participation in this workshop, then let us know, and we can let you know if the workshop is being run again in future with different facilitators. We will work to ensure that this is a safe space in which to think. This means that questions and discussion will be encouraged, but challenging people’s lived experience will not. We will follow Chatham House rules for confidentiality.

We are likely to be talking about issues that carry a lot of emotional weight. The workshop organisers will work to ensure that the day is productive and supportive; however we will not be able to offer support outside of the workshop on issues that might arise.

Please note that the workshop will be delivered mainly in BSL (Josef is a deaf BSL user). If this is a barrier to your participation, please let us know.

The workshop is open to trainee and registered interpreters and translators, deaf and hearing. If you are interested in attending, and are not an interpreter / translator, please let us know, as we may be able to amend the workshop.

There will be some thinking to do before the workshop. Questions and areas to think about will be emailed to you once you’ve confirmed. The day runs 9:30-5:00, or similar duration, times TBA. If you are interested in us providing this workshop, or have any questions, please email Darren on: darrenth@gmail.com.

Refreshments and lunch will be provided; please send your dietary requirements to devoncornwall@asli.org.uk.


30th November 2019
9:30 am - 5:00 pm
Event Category:


Devon & Cornwall


Living Options Devon, Exeter
Units 3-4 Lustleigh Close
Exeter, Devon EX2 8PW United Kingdom
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01392 459 222
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