SoSS academics make ground-breaking links with British Deaf Association

Here at SoSS, our research academics work hard to ensure their work genuinely impacts on the world around us. Current research around disability, ageing, learning, energy economics, green logistics and much, much more all has enormous implications for how we live, work and think about many issues.

Our BSL-team, whose work has already had a huge impact on justice, education and employment within the Deaf community, have now achieved a first for any UK university – signing a Memorandum of Understanding with the British Deaf Association.

The MoU is a formal agreement for Heriot-Watt and the BDA to work together on research with deaf British Sign Language (BSL) users. This will benefit the British Deaf community and allied professionals, such as interpreters and teachers of the deaf. Through the partnership, we will ensure that research is meaningful and impactful to BSL using adults and children and others that work with this population.

The MoU was signed on Saturday 21 April at the BDA’s AGM and conference. Gary Quinn, Head of the BSL team at Heriot-Watt, represented the university at the ceremony.

Professor Jemina Napier, who appears in the signed video below and who brokered the agreement on behalf of Heriot-Watt University, said: “It is a landmark in not only recognising the informal relationship we have already had up until this point in terms of the research we engage in, but also of the importance of partnership to ensure research impact.”

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