The first cohort of students from Scotland's first British Sign Language (BSL) interpretation degree have graduated as Heriot-Watt's summer graduation ceremonies drew towards a conclusion.
The degree is the only one in the UK on which students graduate as fully qualified and accredited BSL/English interpreters upon completion, which means they can start working anywhere in the UK straight away, without the need for further training.
The graduates ranged in ages from 21 to 50 plus. As well as BSL they have studied sign linguistics, deaf history and culture, national and international deaf politics, ethics, translation and interpreting.
Professor Jemina Napier, Head of Languages and Intercultural Studies at Heriot-Watt's School of Management and Languages, said, “Our congratulations to the University's first cohort of BSL interpreters. There are fewer than 80 registered BSL/English interpreters working in Scotland at present so this cohort will immediately fill an important demand-supply gap for the Scottish deaf community. The majority of the students have already lined up experienced interpreters to work with as their mentors to assist with their transition into the interpreting profession.”
Our congratulations go to these and all the other Heriot-Watt graduates who, with family and friends, have been celebrating their achievements this week.