WAVLI now holds three protected titles: (1) Registered ASL/English Interpreter, (2) Registered Sign Language Interpreter, and (3) Registered Visual Language Interpreter which are restricted for use by WAVLI members only.


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WAVLI holds its members to a Code of Ethics and provides Guidelines for Professional Practice to govern its members. WAVLI promotes professionalism, both linguistically and ethically, to employers and consumers of service alike. Over the past decade, WAVLI has engaged in a process of clarifying the difference between qualified professional interpreters and lay-persons, who have no formal linguistic training, yet self-identify as ‘sign language interpreters’. On July 07, 2011 that process was strengthened by the granting of Occupational Title Protection by the BC Provincial Government.


Any interpreter in BC using one of the three granted occupational titles must meet the educational requirement stipulated in the WAVLI bylaws (http://wavli.com/bylaws.html) which states that an applicant must be currently providing interpretation services and have graduated from an acceptable visual language interpreter training program.


Having title protection assures the public that, when hiring an interpreter who is using any of the three protected titles, that person is qualified to provide ASL-English interpreting services.


Many Deaf, Deaf-Blind, and Hard-Of-Hearing people are fluent in American Sign Language (ASL) or use an English mode of signing. Sign Language Interpreters are professionally trained people who provide a vital link between Deaf or hard-of-hearing people who use sign language as their primary mode of communication and those who do not know sign language (usually hearing people using a spoken language).


Westcoast Association of Visual Language Interpreters (WAVLI) was established in 1987 and is a non-profit organization of professional interpreters and interpreter educators, promoting quality interpreting services and professional development to its members.


WAVLI supports the aims of the Association of Visual Language Interpreters of Canada (AVLIC) and in doing so, its members adhere to the Code of Ethics of the Association of Visual Language Interpreters of Canada. We provide a support network and professional development opportunities for Sign Language Interpreters in British Columbia and other areas.


In doing so, we also work to support the Deaf, Deaf-Blind, and Hard-of-Hearing communities of British Columbia by taking an active role in a variety of areas including:

  • Encouraging excellence in interpreters and interpreting services.
  • Creating greater public awareness and understanding of interpreting and the role of interpreters.
  • Encouraging high ethical standards and understanding in interpreting services to individuals who are hearing, Deaf or hard-of-hearing.