An Open Letter to Critical Link Members

Dear Critical Link Member, 

It has been some time since Critical Link International has reached out to its members and we apologize for our silence. But silence does not mean inactivity and we have been busy working internally, on organizational improvements and externally with our partners to shape and move forward the professional domain of community interpreting. 

CLI has always been THE global organization for community interpreting, but things have changed since its inception in 1992. At that time, founder Brian Harris (who I had the joy of meeting up with in Valencia, Spain this past spring) along with a group of colleagues, established Critical Link as an opportunity to explore a new and emerging sector within language studies – community interpreting. But CLI is not the only player any longer. We now have a variety of regional and global organizations whose missions and mandate might overlap with CLI, and we work in partnership with many of them. So, the CLI Board of Directors found itself asking “is CLI still relevant?” We wanted to know if CLI still offers a value to the language services community and to individual practitioners. That question instigated a lively dialogue that underscored how much CLI is not only relevant, but necessary. The inquiry process led to our new Strategic Plan, adopted by the organization on August 2017. The Strategic Plan 2016 – 2019, will guide CLI activities until we all meet again in Tokyo, Japan for CLI9 in 2019. 

We began by refining our mission statement, which now reads, Linking the World for the Advancement of Community Interpreting. Four strategic priorities detailing 17 strategic objectives were developed and adopted. While that may sound like a lot of objectives, the intent is to leverage initiatives so that the results benefit many of the objectives. The four priority areas are:

  • Financial
  • Beneficiaries (our members)
  • Internal Operations
  • Learning & Innovation

We have already started on 3 key projects: Membership, Communications and a Policies and Procedures manual update. The CLI Strategic Map is available here.

We hope that you will continue supporting Critical Link. Keep reading below for more news and important updates. 

I am always available to speak to Critical Link members. You can email me at at any time. 

Deepest Regards, 

Angela Sasso


Critical Link International



Critical Link has recently initiated a FB group as a forum for ongoing discussion, in addition to other platforms. This is a private group and by invitation only. Please watch for an invite from our Board of Directors to participate in the group. 

Partnerships and Collaborations

We continue to work with Red T and other member organizations in the coalition on the Open Letters Campaign. The Coalition partners were ecstatic when the Belarus mission to the UN General Assembly took up the cause and even more gratified when on May 24, 2017, the UN General Assembly formally declared September 30th International Translation Day. 

As President of Critical Link International, I represent that organization at the ISO Technical Committee 37/SC 5 Terminology and other language content and resources, where efforts in standards development for the industry continue to move forward. The annual meeting took place in Vienna, Austria this year and it was an incredibly well attended meeting with delegates from 16 different countries attending. Currently, there are several standards in process relating directly to interpreting: ISO 20228 – Guidelines for language services in judicial settings; ISO 21998 – Healthcare Interpreting (previously Medical Interpreting); ISO 18841 – Interpreting – General Guidelines.

Critical Link was invited to present the opening plenary presentation at the 2017 6th International Conference on PSIT/Community Interpreting and Translation at the Universidad de Alcalá, in Alcalá de Henares, Spain. A transcription of that presentation is now available on the website under the What’s New section. While in Spain, I was also asked to speak about Critical Link International to the students at the Career Guidance Conference of the Bachelor’s Degree in Translation and Interpreting at the Universitat Jaume I. Thank you to Professor María Jesús Blasco Mayor from the Department of Translation and Communication for inviting CLI to attend. It was marvellous to see so many new and interested professionals entering the field of public service interpreting. 

With every event, and our ongoing participation, Critical Link Board of Directors are advancing the position and priority of community interpreters and bringing the sector into the discussions. It is these very activities that form the ongoing work of CLI, and that fulfil the mission of the organization.

Sharing and Learning

Don’t forget to visit our Research and Development tab online and explore Knowledge Link IC (KLIC), where you can upload papers and announcements to share with our community, and also see the contributions of others. The site hosts: 

  • Calls for papers
  • Information on conferences, trainings and other events 
  • Suggestions for joint studies in community interpreting 
  • Sources of funding for interpreting projects 
  • Recent academic publications in the field: new publications, special issues, and articles, abstracts, in addition to dissertations of outstanding academic works of Master’s and Doctoral students and researchers 

We believe that this international cooperation under the auspices of CLI as a global organization will help centralize information, promote the academic status of the profession, increase studies in the field, and provide more visibility to academic activities and contributions from all over the world. 


Critical Link Membership

Don’t forget that a Critical Link membership includes a discount for registration fees to all CLI conferences. 

Renew your membership here



Critical Link Conferences


For those members that presented at CLI8 at Heriot-Watt University in 2016, you may have already heard from Christine Wilson asking for you to submit your paper in consideration for inclusion in the CL8 publication of proceedings. However, if you no longer wish it to be considered for inclusion we encourage you to share your good work with the CLI community, nonetheless, by uploading your presentations, papers, etc on the CLI website ( in KLIC under the Research and Development tab. KLIC is the CLI information hub – and an excellent place for the CLI community to share knowledge, ideas, and past presentations.

KLIC can be accessed through this link, or by going to

Papers will be sent to directly to with the following details: Presentation/poster/MS title, full name and affiliation, where/when it was presented (if different than CL8).

We will upload the materials in the knowledge hub, and contact the authors if we have other questions.


If you presented at CLI7 in 2013, Toronto Ontario, and have not had the opportunity to share your paper or presentations, you can do so by following the same process as above. We would love for the whole CLI community, and beyond, to learn and benefit from our collective knowledge.


2019 will be for Tokyo Japan! We cannot wait to once again gather and see new and familiar faces. The best thing about CLI conferences is the relaxed, collegial environment that comes from a sense of shared purpose and goal, but a multi-sectoral mix of stakeholders and participants. It’s the most collaborative conference!! I am sure that CLI9 will not disappoint. Stay tuned to our social media channels and website for updated information and news on CLI9.