Mariapia Rizzi
Deaf Studies instructor

Communication Assistant from 2009 and Italian Sign Language (LIS) interpreter since 2013, Mariapia Rizzi approached Sign Language and Deaf Culture thanks to her dissertation in Semiotics on Sign Language Poetry. On behalf of Siena School for Liberal Arts, she has been taking part to various european projects regarding Sign language and international Sign.She co-teaches Deaf Culture for the Siena School for Liberal Arts and coordinates the Summer Program for Signers.

From 2010 she has been working for the Mason Perkins Deafness Fund as project coordinator.


2013 - LIS (Italian Sign Language) Interpreter Certification, Gruppo SILIS, Rome.

2010 - Master in Communication Assistance for Deaf People, University of Bari (I).

Dissertation: “L’ho detto una volta, l’ho detto due volte, l’ho detto tre volte. E ciò che io dico tre volte è vero”. (“I said it once, I said it twice, I said it three times. And what I say three times is true”)

2009 - Laurea Magistrale’ in Communication Sciences, University of Siena

Dissertation: “Manomissioni. Tre strategie iconiche del testo poetico segnato”. ("Manomissioni. Three Iconic Strategies in Signed Poetic Texts").

Teaching Experience: 

2009-2013: Communication Assistant for Deaf Students. Individual work with deaf students and in collaboration with an education team (italian public school).

2011Present: Instructor of Deaf Culture and Deaf Education, Siena School for Liberal Arts.

2010: Art Workshop for children with Paul Johnston (Instructor at Gallaudet University) at Mason Perkins Deafness Fund, Siena.

Selected Presentations & Pubications: 

April 14th, 2015: Rotary Club Siena Est - Presentation of “Stella”: a bilingual fable in LIS and in Italian, a linguistic and cultural adaptation of “The Little Mermaid.” The book, created in collaboration with a group of Deaf Italian storytellers, was produced by the Mason Perkins Deaf Fund and presented at the Turin International Book Fair.

January 14th - 16th, 2011: Speaker at 3rd National Workshop of the CGSI (Committee of Young Deaf Italians)“Today Ideas, Tomorrow a Future for Young People”.

2011, Manomissioni. Three Iconic Strategies in Signed Poetic Texts in Places of Translation. Interfaces. Minutes of the 18th International Congress of Studies of the Society of Italian Linguistics, edited by Massariello Merzagora Giovanna, Dal Maso Serena, Vol., I, ISBN 978-88-7870-595-1, Roma: Bulzoni Editori.

2010, The Spider and the Web, inside the online magazine of the University of Bari “Studies in Language Education” ISSN 1970-1861Vol. 3, no.3, 106-117. Dir., Prof. Mario Cardona.

September 24th-26th, 2009: Speaker at the 18th International Congress of Studies of the Society of Italian Linguistics (SLI) “Places of Translation” - University ofVerona – Department of Languages and Literature. Lecture title: “Manomissioni. Three Iconic Strategies in Signed Poetic Texts.”

November 22nd, 2008: Speaker at “Space and Communication” Congress - Sala Gialla Istituto Pendola, Siena, organized by the Siena School for Liberal Arts and by ENS (National Deaf Association – Siena). Lecture title: “Feast Day: Spaces for Escape” – semiotic analysis of a story by G. De Maupassant.

Related Work Experience:

2015 - Present: European Project “SignTeach”: project for the creation of an open educational resource for Sign Language teachers. Representative for Siena School for Liberal Arts, Italian Partner.

2013 - Present: Freelance LIS interpreter: extensive experience in different settings, including: medical, entertainment, education, business/office meetings, government, university, training sessions, conferences, presentations, platform.

2013 - Present: LIS Interpreter at “Starters”, Siena Art Institute, Siena. A series of conferences with artists and creative professionals of international repute talking about art and culture.

2013 - Present: LIS Interpreter at “I venerdì del Pendola”, Mason Perkins Deafness Fund, Siena. A series of conferences with deaf and signers speakers of international repute talking about Deaf Culture, Linguistics and Education and Sign Language Interpretation 

2010 - Present: Project Coordinator, Mason Perkins Deafness Fund, Siena. Coordinating and conducting activities, programs and projects in a national and international setting.

2013 - 2014: European Project “Signs2Cross”: a Deaf-led EU project aimed at creating an online course for learning International Signs. Representative for Siena School for Liberal Arts, Italian Partner.


Italian: Native Language.

Italian Sign Language (LIS): Fluent.

American Sign Language (ASL):Intermediate.

English: Advanced.

International Sign Capacity:Intermediate.

Sart life