President of the World Federation of the Deaf visits Edinburgh Campus

The students BSL interpret to camera and then replay their BSL interpreting to assess and analyse and receive feedback on their performance.

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.

Celebratory  event

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.

Guest lecture

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."

EdSign events

Colin Allen's guest lecture was part of the EdSign event series.