The structure of ASLI is set up in a way that enables us to be member-led and to enable members to take a full and active part in developing new procedures, services and activities for our profession.

Twice a year the Board stages Member Consultation Days where representatives from each of the ASLI Regions come together with Board members in order to feed into the work of the Association.

Having consulted their regional members, at consultation day, attendees are able to ensure that the Board is kept abreast of issues of relevance to regional members throughout the UK.  Attendees are further available to be consulted on proposed activity at the national level.

At Consultation Day, the ASLI Work Streams are reviewed and agreed for the next term.

The first Consultation Day was held in Reading on 6th July 2013.

ASLI Members can read Minutes from past Board meetings and Consultation Days here


The ASLI board of Directors is appointed to run the affairs of the association in accordance with Company law. Other people may be co-opted on to the Board from time to time, as required.

There are 4 Interpreter Directors, Gail Ann Dixon RSLI,  Andy Carmichael RSLI, MaryFaith Autumn RSLI, Brett Best, Jill Henshaw RSLI and 1 Independent Director Lauren Harris.

To contact the board please email 


MaryFaith Autumn has worked with Deaf people for over 35 years in a variety of roles. She has worked in both ASL and BSL, interpreting in various domains. She has facilitated personal growth workshops with Deaf participants, encouraging the development of reflective and relationship skills. Whilst working toward her formal BSL qualifications, she was responsible for liaising between the Deaf Community and the local authority to improve access to services. She spent 18 months in northwest Nigeria as a VSO volunteer on a capacity working at a school with over 300 Deaf children and several Deaf teachers. Since qualifying in 2008 she has been developing a domain specialism interpreting in health and social care.

The values of Quakers, in which MaryFaith is an active member, underpin and nourish attitudes which guide her personal and professional behaviour. This is evident in her integrity and ethics, in her commitment to reflective practice, and in her desire to understand the views of others.

She has a keen interest in the professionalisation of the interpreting industry and believes that key to this is the liaison with not only Deaf- and interpreting-related organisations, but also with our hearing colleagues and the associations which represent them. She is a strong supporter of supervision and continuing professional development, believing these to be critical to our development as practitioners and to the development of our profession.



NAATI Accredited Auslan Interpreter

WFD/WASLI Accredited International Sign Interpreter

Since training at Durham University then registering as an RSLI in 1995, Andy has practiced predominately as a freelance interpreter, working between English, BSL, Auslan and International Sign. He has specialised in conference, political and media interpreting, though has continued to work in legal, medical and community settings throughout his career, most recently via VRS work for a Deaf led provider. He now works full time as an interpreter at Heriot Watt University in Edinburgh, where he is based.

Andy passionately believes in a reflective group of practice professionals raising standards of our service provision to the benefit of all our clients, but particularly the Deaf community. To this end, he is actively engaged in mentoring work, regularly teaches interpreting students and practitioners and has several papers and book chapters published and in press.

Andy looks forward to continue serving on the ASLI board for the next two years, having been re-elected at the 2017 AGM.

Gail Ann Dixon

BSc (Hons) PG Dip RSLI

 BSL/English Interpreter

Gail qualified as an interpreter in 2009, and in her own practise she now specialises in Healthcare, Education, and Religious domains. Her main interests within sign language interpreting are professional practices, employment arrangements, minimal language and the challenges of interpreting humour.

She joined the board in 2012, having been a regional representative, and chair of the Terms and Conditions task group. Gail represents ASLI members on the NRCPD Practitioners’ Forum and considers engagement with this forum to be fundamental to achieving professionalism within the sign language interpreting field in the UK.

The skills, expertise and attitude she brings to the board are her optimism, a creative and innovative mind; her energy and resilience. Gail is chair of the ASLI Board and over the last year she focused on ensuring ASLI is a strong, vibrant association that promotes professionalism. Gail does this by undertaking external representation and proactively engaging with the BDA, UKCoD AtW, the NHS and the MoJ drawing on the ASLI best practice documents to support her belief that if you provide, or hire,  or receive interpreting services the aim and vision are the same: competent and effective practice.



Brett Best is a fully qualified American Sign Language (ASL)/British Sign Language (BSL)/English interpreter. She holds a BA degree in Deaf Studies from Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C., an MSc in European Masters in Sign Language Interpreting (EUMASLI) from Heriot-Watt University in Scotland, and she is currently studying toward a Graduate Certificate in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education through University of Wisconsin-Milwuakee. Her current research interests include the professionalisation processes of sign language interpreting and how technology is impacting the interpreting profession


About Me I’m a 38-year-old student interpreter, currently enrolled in the first year of the part-time PG Dip BSL/English Interpreting and Translation programme at UCLan. For my day job, I do something quite different: I work at the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands as the spokesperson for the Dutch government in the UK. My job is to promote the Netherlands as a destination for inward investment and tourism, a cultural and artistic partner and like-minded political ally for the UK. Before joining the Embassy in 2010, I worked as the Ambassador’s spokesperson at the British Embassy in Brussels (2009-10) and Paris (2007-9) and in other political / communication roles at the British Embassy in Paris (2004-7) and the Japanese Embassy in London (2001-3). I graduated with a First Class degree in French and German (with Dutch) from the University of Birmingham in 2000. I am a passionate linguist and have always worked in bilingual or trilingual environments, including a stint as a trainee technical translator (2001) and regular freelance work as a consecutive spoken-language interpreter between English, French and German (2004-2013) for the now Foreign Minister of France. During my studies, I also completed an internship at the European Parliament in Strasbourg (1998-9).

How I fit into the Deaf world I discovered BSL as a teenager, when a family with a Deaf daughter moved next door. I passed CACDP Level 1 aged 15. After graduating from university, I spent a year teaching English in Japan, which included one day a week working at a Deaf school using English, Japanese, BSL and JSL. After volunteering at the London 2012 Paralympic Games, where I made many Deaf friends, I resolved to take up BSL again. I then passed Level 2 and 3 and Level 6 (Part 1) before being accepted onto the UCLan course in January 2016. I dove head first (as is my wont) into the Deaf community, joining the ‘Spit The Dummy and Campaign For A BSL Act!’ group in 2013 as a parliamentary advisor, which led to me helping to draft a Communication Support (Deafness) Bill with the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Deafness. I was then recruited to the Advisory Board of CommunityID to help oversee the last two years of their Big Lottery Fund community cohesion project (2013-15). Since then, I have volunteered as a political/communications advisor with a number of other Deaf organisations: BDA, DeafLondon, and more recently with the campaign group Stop Changes To Access To Work, where I am a member of the Parliamentary committee. I have also volunteered as a communicator with NDCS, Deafinitely Theatre, Deaffest, SignCircle and Incloodu, and at the international Deaf arts and culture festival Clin d’Oeil in France (2013 and 2015), where I provided communication support between English, French, BSL and LSF. I attended the WFD Congress in Istanbul 2015 with the aim of working at the next Congress in Paris in 2019. I live with my Deafblind partner and am enthusaistically acquiring skills as a communicator guide.

Why I’m Independent Director After a career of 15 years in the diplomatic world (where I have been promoted as far as I can go), I am now considering a second career as a BSL/English interpreter, with the ultimate goal of interpreting in the political domain at the European / international level.

Jill Henshaw 


Jill Henshaw is an RSLI based in Derbyshire.  She works three days a week for Nottinghamshire Deaf Society with the local community, and part-time as a freelancer.

Jill previously worked as a CSW in FE for ten years and as an in-house interpreter for Sheffield Hallam University before completing a PGDip with SLI.  She worked on a freelance basis for eight years until joining Nottinghamshire Deaf Society last year.  Jill has experience of interpreting in a range of settings but predominantly HE and community interpreting.

As a member of ASLI she has always been active in her region and is currently the regional representative for the East Midlands.  Jill hopes to join the board to play an active role in the organisation and support ASLI’s position in supporting the wider profession.