Heriot-Watt University has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the British Deaf Association to formalise their existing collaborative relationship on research which impacts the Deaf BSL-using community.
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 brokered the agreement on behalf of Heriot-Watt University, described the MoU with the BDA as "the first such agreement between the BDA and a British university."
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, as through this partnership we will ensure that research is meaningful and impactful to BSL using adults and children and others that work with this population. This will involve BDA representation on project advisory groups, presentation of research findings at BDA events, and exchange of information on what research is needed.
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.