About BSL First

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Diploma in Sign Language Interpreting, Level 6 Diploma in Sign Language Translation, international sign language, international signs (IS)

Akbar Sikder BA, MA, RSLI, RSLT, AITI, MASLI, A1

Managing Director, Interpreter Trainer and Assessor

Akbar is a hearing child of two deaf parents, growing up bilingual in English and BSL. He holds a BA (Honours) in French and Linguistics and an MA (Merit) in Translation and Interpreting from the University of Manchester. He is a Registered Sign Language Interpreter (RSLI) and Registered Sign Language Translator (RSLT) with the NRCPD, an Associate of the Institute of Translation and Interpreting (AITI) and a Member of the Association of Sign Language Interpreters (MASLI). He is fluent in English, BSL, French, and French Sign Language (LSF).

 

He is qualified in both spoken language and signed language interpreting and translation and has been working as a professional signed language interpreter since 2009 (qualified 2018), gaining experience in a wide range of domains, specialising in education, legal and Islamic settings. He has authored a growing list of publications relating to interpreting and translation, with his research interests focused on child language brokering, interpreter pedagogy and translation theory.

 

Akbar is also a qualified teacher and A1 assessor for the BSL, interpreting and translation qualifications. This includes working closely with awarding bodies on the development and assessment of BSL, interpreting and translation qualifications, and with the NRCPD as a Professional Standards Advisor. He is an approved TSLI and TSLT supervisor, and the course convenor for 2 modules on the MA Translation programme at University College London.

akbar.sikder@bslfirst.com

Rachael Parker BA, CertEd, RSLT, A1, V1, V2

Interpreter Trainer and BSL Teacher

Rachael holds a Certificate in Education from the University of Southampton, A1 assessor and internal and external verifier qualifications. She is a Registered Sign Language Translator with the NRCPD. She has been teaching and assessing all levels of BSL for 15 years and currently runs BSLCourses.co.uk, delivering online BSL courses from levels 1 to 6. She is a highly experienced assessor and verifier for BSL qualifications, and has taught on interpreter development programmes. She has been a qualified sign language translator since 2017 and has experience working as both a BSL/English translator and a deaf relay interpreter. 

Rachael teaches on the Level 6 Diploma in Sign Language Interpreting and Translation course.

Adrian Bailey BSc (Hons), PGCE, RSLI, MASLI

Interpreter Trainer

Adrian is a hearing child of two deaf parents, growing up bilingual in English and BSL. He holds a BSc (Honours) in Deaf Studies from the University of Bristol and a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) from Edge Hill University. He is a Registered Sign Language Interpreter (RSLI) with the NRCPD, a Member of the Association of Sign Language Interpreters (MASLI) and he holds Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). He has been working as a BSL/English interpreter since 2014 and has experience in a wide range of domains, including extensive work within the film and television industry. He previously worked as a drama teacher. Adrian is also proficient in ASL and International Sign, and has worked as an interpreter at the European Parliament in Brussels.

Adrian teaches on the Interpreter Development Programme for Heritage Signers (IDP-HS) course.

Tessa Padden MA, RSLI, RSLT, MASLI

Interpreter Trainer and BSL Teacher

Tessa is the Deaf child of Deaf Irish parents who lived in England for over 50 years. She is trilingual in British Sign Language (BSL), Irish Sign Language (ISL) and English. She is a Registered Sign Language Interpreter (RSLI) and Registered Sign Language Translator (RSLT) with the NRCPD, working between ISL, BSL and International Sign. She is an experienced BSL teacher, teacher trainer, translator, television presenter and interpreter. She has taught and trained BSL teachers and sign language interpreters all over the world and for institutions including Durham University, Bristol University, Wolverhampton University, City University London, Queen’s University Belfast, The British Deaf Association, The Royal National Institute for Deaf People, The National Deaf Children’s Society, The Irish Deaf Society and Deaf Action (Scotland).

 

Tessa was the founding Chair of IBSL (set up by the British Deaf Association) and Chair of the BDA’s BSL Academy in 2006-2015. In 2011, she founded Signworld, an online learning resource to support sign language learners and teachers, along with Linda Day. In 2012, she became one of the first Deaf people in the UK to qualify as both a sign language translator (English/BSL) and a sign language interpreter (BSL/ASL).

Tessa teaches on the Interpreter Development Programme for Heritage Signers (IDP-HS) course.

 

Alan Murray BA, CertEd, RSLT, MVLP, A1, V1, V2

Interpreter Trainer and BSL Teacher, Assessor and Verifier

Alan is a highly experienced BSL teacher, assessor and verifier. He holds the OCR External Quality Assurer Award, City & Guilds D34 Internal Verifier and D32 Assessor qualifications, and a Certificate in Education from the University of Greenwich. He is also a Registered Sign Language Translator (RSLT) with the NRCPD and Member of Visual Language Professionals (MVLP). 

Alan has over 30 years of experience teaching, assessing and verifying BSL qualifications, including a wealth of knowledge in the development and assessment of BSL, interpreting and translation qualifications. He is passionate about the deaf community and has served on Boards of several influential deaf organisations. 

Alan teaches on the Interpreter Development Programme for Heritage Signers and the Level 6 Diploma in Sign Language Interpreting and Translation courses.

Cathy Green CTLLS, A1

BSL Teacher and Assessor

Cathy is a deaf child of deaf parents and comes from a large deaf family. She has been teaching BSL for over 10 years and has experience in teaching all levels of BSL. She holds the Level 4 Certificate in Teaching in the Lifelong Learning Sector (CTLLS) and the A1 Assessor qualifications. She also has skills and experience in International Sign interpreting and Deafblind interpreting.

Cathy teaches on the Level 6 Diploma in Sign Language Interpreting and the Interpreter Development Programme for Heritage Signers (IDP-HS) courses.

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