Ben Steiner Award

In recognition of outstanding, positive and consistent contributions and achievements over a number of years toward the development of sign language interpreting ben Steiner Award

“Completing this work for ASLI has been an honour and has given me more ideas for artistic work around the concepts of signing & BSL. I hope those who receive it will gain as much joy and pride from it as I have done.” (Colin Redwood)

About the artist:

Colin Redwood was born Manchester 1957 before moving to Bolton to attend Thomasson Memorial School for the deaf. He spent 22 years working in the printing and graphics trade before returning to further and higher education in 1998 to complete a BA in Visual Arts & Art & Design History.
Colin specialises in sculpture. He attended the Deafway 11 Arts Festival at Gallaudet University in Washington DC as well as presenting work on BBC2’s See Hear programme.

Who is Ben Steiner?

Ben was a unique and remarkable man. In his thirty-one years of life he accomplished more than most could in twice the number of years. As a hearing child of Deaf parents he quickly learned the art of communication in very different languages. He also developed a natural talent for entertaining.

“Brilliant, passionate, controversial and mischievous - he took interpreting in the UK to a new place of excellence. It was said that at times his interpretation into the sign medium seemed to transcend any particular sign language. His powerful intellect could rip the meaning out of the most difficult and obscure English source message and render it clearly in British Sign Language.” (Quoted paragraph modified and with permission from an obituary notice written by Roger Beeson. Complete text compiled from a variety of unacknowledged sources.)

In his twenties Ben Steiner studied Fine Art. Typically, whilst studying Art, he somehow found the time to reach black belt in Karate, and achieve high status as a sign language interpreter in art galleries.

He then went from strength to strength as an interpreter. He interpreted for Royalty, the Arts and Television. His love for language was married with a fine intellect and he gained his MA BSL/English Interpreting at the University of Durham. He became Senior Lecturer at Wolverhampton University where he was involved in developing degree courses and was studying toward a PhD in Linguistics.

In November 2000 Ben Steiner took part in the television programme See Hear (a national, weekly magazine programme in BSL) about coping with cancer. He did so knowing he only had a short time to live.

This award is testimony to a remarkable life. A life that shows what can be achieved with passion, commitment, courage and confidence. Ben Steiner had a strong and proud Deaf identity and was committed to the worlds’ Deaf signing communities.

Previous Recipients:

2005:   Liz Scott Gibson 

2008:   Mary Brennan


2011:  As there were no nominations for the Ben Steiner Award this year it has been decided to re-open the nominations and present the next Ben Steiner Award at our 25th Anniversary AGM & Conference in Bristol in 2012.

2012:   Dr Rachel Sutton-Spence

Ben Steiner Nomination Form

Ben Steiner Policy