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West Midlands – Exploring Unconscious Bias

25th September 2021 @ 9:00 am - 5:00 pm


Ticket price £150.00, ASLI Members: £100.00 email the committee – westmidlands@asli.org.uk for your discount code.

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

Why explore Unconscious Bias?

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

Interpreters and translators have said that training would be useful to help understand more about UB, and so this is a workshop to address that.  In the workshop we discuss the limits of workshops like these, and what you can do to address those limitations.  We also explore some common critiques of UB and suggest alternatives.

Discussion of UB then naturally leads us into an exploration of how we evaluate some of the norms that contextualise and influence the way we think about ourselves and others, what we see, and so how we work.

We conclude by looking at what we can do, and suggesting some next steps.

What will we cover?

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

(1) Unconscious Bias (UB):  What is Unconscious Bias, what is the Implicit Association Test (IAT) and how does it relate to UB; critiques of UB and alternatives; and UB in the real world.

(2)  Unconscious Bias and the Interpreter / Translator:  How does UB impact on interpreters / translators?

(3)  Unconscious Bias and interpretering / translation:  The challenge for interpreters and translators and strategies to address UB.

(4)  What can we do to address Unconscious Bias? 

Who are we?

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 you may want to look for a workshop run by different facilitators.

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.

Who is the workshop for?

The workshop is aimed at trainee and registered interpreters and translators, Deaf and hearing.

Before and after the workshop:

 This workshop is introductory, and we cover a lot of different concepts and ideas.  To get the most of this opportunity, before the workshop you’ll need to do the Implicit Association Test (IAT) online (information will be emailed once you’re booked on a workshop).

And then after the workshop you can explore these ideas further through reading (we’ll send you a suggested reading list) and activities that you can do yourself or with peers (we’ll send suggestions).

There is an optional, participant led, Zoom discussion group following the workshop.

Other information:

The day runs 9:00 to 5:00, 9:00 arrival for 9:15 start on 25th September 2021 at Cars Lane Church and Conference Centre.

We 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 are not be able to offer support outside of the workshop on issues that might arise.  Please ensure that you have appropriate support available, if you think this might be an issue.

CPD:  7 hours structured.  Also, you can count additional unstructured hours for the time you spend on preparation, follow up work, and the post-workshop discussion group.

Face to face or remote:  If we have to deliver it remotely due to Covid, we will do so, and the following will apply:

Whilst being delivered remotely we’re aiming for a more face-to-face ‘in the room’ together feel for this learning and group, rather than it being a ‘webinar delivered at you’.

 This is so that we can have proper conversations together, get to know each other in the group, and feel comfortable speaking in the session (there will be 16 people maximum for this workshop, the same number of us as there would be if the was workshop face to face).  This is important because much of the learning in this workshop comes from the experiences and thoughts that we share with each other.  Also, perhaps differently from other webinars:

  • We won’t be asking you to have cameras off unless we have bandwidth issues (just mics off, if you aren’t using headphones, to prevent feedback).
  • You’ll be encouraged to comment / ask questions / share etc. as we go along.
  • We’ll have whole group discussions as well as lots of breakout opportunities for discussions.
  • The webinar won’t be recorded, so we can all speak freely.
  • There will be regular, proper stretch and eye breaks J

If you have any questions, please ask Darren:  darrenth@gmail.com


25th September 2021
9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Event Category:


West Midlands Region


Carrs Lane Church and Conference Centre
Carrs Lane
Birmingham, West Midlands B4 7SX United Kingdom
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0121 6436151
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