Colin Allen, President of the World Federation of the Deaf, visited the Edinburgh Campus on Wednesday 22 May to take part in a celebratory event and deliver a guest lecture.
A celebratory event was held at the Edinburgh Campus to acknowledge the end of the first year of the BSL Interpreting undergrad programme.
Around 20 people attended this event, including representatives from the Scottish Scottish Association of Sign Language Interpreters, British Deaf Association (Scotland), Sign Video Inc, University of Edinburgh, Deaf Way, and Deaf Action.
The proceedings were opened by Gary Quinn, the coordinator of the BSL-English Interpreting program. Speeches were given by Gill Hogg, as former Head of the School of Management and Languages, and Graham Turner, as Head of the BSL Section, who gave a brief overview as to why it is important for Heriot-Watt to work with the Deaf community and key stakeholders.
Heriot-Watt students then gave a tour of the University's cutting-edge teaching labs, and all in attendance were impressed with the level of technological support that the University gives to its students to maximise their study.
Pictured: Students from the MA (Hons) British Sign Language (Interpreting, Translating and Applied Language Studies) programme pictured with members of the programme's teaching team Professor Graham Turner, Professor Jemina Napier, Gary Quinn and Rita McDade.
At the evening lecture Colin Allen spoke to an audience of around 50 guests from all over Scotland.
The lecture was interpreted from International Sign, into English, and then into British Sign Language by a team of volunteer interpreters. After hsi lecture, Colin took many questions from the audience about how they could 'translate' his presentation into practice here locally in Scotland.
Colin said, "It was a great pleasure to witness the celebration of the first year of the four-year course at Heriot-Watt University in British Sign Language (Interpreting, Translating and Applied Language Studies). This course will enable equality of access for Deaf people in Scotland by expanding the number of professional sign language interpreters, a critical aim of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities."
Pictured: Jemima Napier, Chair in Intercultural Communications/Professor of Intercultural Communication, with Colin Allen, President of the World Federation of the Deaf
Colin Allen's guest lecture was part of the EdSign event series. For more information on EdSign events visit here.