The EdSign34 open lecture series is run by a group of Deaf and hearing lecturers and researchers from three of Edinburgh’s universities: Heriot-Watt University, Queen Margaret University, and the University of Edinburgh.
We organise seminars and workshops about issues related to BSL and Deaf Studies. Our events are open to the public and everyone is welcome. The audience for our Wednesday evening talks includes members of the Deaf community, researchers, students on the BSL tutor training course, interpreting students, teachers and interpreters.
In 1975 (34 years ago), Mary Brennan first started research into British Sign Language at Moray House in Edinburgh. This is why our lecture series in 2009-2010 is known as EdSign34.
The British Sign Language and Linguistic Access Working Group (BSL&LAWG) has been convened and chaired by the Scottish Government since 2000. Its work comes under the remit of the Scottish Government’s Equality Unit. The Working Group consists of representatives from deaf organisations and Government officials. It enables the Government to discuss issues at the heart of linguistic access for deaf, deafblind and hard of hearing people. On its website there is a statement in BSL and English about Linguistic Access and Deaf People, as well as information about the work of the Group and issues affecting Deaf people. BSL&LAWG is a main partner organisation in BSL:UPTAKE.
The British Deaf Association (BDA) (http://bda.org.uk) is the largest Deaf organisation in the UK that is run by Deaf people. It represents the Sign Language community, which is united by shared experiences, history and, most importantly, by British Sign Language (BSL). There is a great deal of information on the BDA’s website, much of it in BSL as well as English. BDA Scotland has its own Committee (http://bda.org.uk/Scotland-i-59.html) and an office in Glasgow. The BDA is an advisory partner to BSL:UPTAKE.
The Scottish Association of Sign Language Interpreters (SASLI) (http://www.sasli.co.uk/index.php) aims to foster and enhance British Sign Language/English interpreting services in Scotland. SASLI maintains a register of Interpreters (http://www.sasli.co.uk/interpreters.php) and encourages the training of those wishing to develop interpreting skills, thereby improving communication between Deaf and hearing people as equally participating members of the community. SASLI’s website contains a lot of information not only about how to find an interpreter and other SASLI services, but about BSL and other issues relating to the Deaf community. Most of this information is in BSL as well as English. SASLI is an advisory partner to BSL:UPTAKE.
Deaf Action (www.deafaction.org) (formerly known as Edinburgh and East of Scotland Deaf Society) raises awareness of the needs and rights of deaf people, challenges discrimination, and provides services to promote independence and quality of life. Its Head Office is in Edinburgh, with other offices in Livingston and Inverness. Its services include a Communication Support Unit, Social Work, Specialist Equipment Services, Training & Development, Youth & Community Development, Supported Accommodation, Outreach Service and Social & Leisure Facilities. Its website contains useful information about Communication Support, Specialist Equipment, Training, and Advice, Care & Support, in BSL as well as English; and more sources of information in English, including newsletters.
The Scottish Council on Deafness (SCoD) – www.scod.org.uk - is the lead organisation for deaf issues in Scotland. It represents 90 organisations working with and on behalf of Deaf Sign Language users, deafened, deafblind and hard of hearing people. Its membership provides an effective working partnership between the Voluntary Sector, Social Work and Education Departments, NHS Trusts, Health Boards and the Government. SCoD’s website has a large amount of useful information, much of it in BSL as well as English. SCoD is an advisory partner to BSL:UPTAKE.
Deaf Connections (http://www.deafconnections.co.uk/) works with Deaf and Hard of Hearing people across the West of Scotland. It is based in Glasgow and provides a range of specialist services. Its website contains information about Deaf Connections and its services, some of it in BSL as well as English. There is a lot of other information in English, including research papers on issues such as Deaf people’s access to employment (http://www.deafconnections.co.uk/images/pdfs/accessing%20employment%20the%20challenges%20facing%20deaf%20people%20in%20glasgow.pdf) and The Mental Health Needs of Deaf Black Minority Ethnic People. (http://www.deafconnections.co.uk/images/pdfs/deaf%20bme%20mental%20health%20research.pdf)
The Scottish Sensory Centre (http://www.ssc.education.ed.ac.uk/home.html) is based at the Moray House School of Education, University of Edinburgh. The Scottish Sensory Centre Resource Library (http://www.ssc.education.ed.ac.uk/library/about.html) specialises in books, periodicals, videos and other educational resources which deal with sensory impairment and related issues. Offering an up-to-date collection of over 3,000 items, anyone working in or interested in sensory impairment will find the library an invaluable resource. The Library Manager can conduct specialist information searches and is always happy to advise. For the convenience of those who cannot visit the library, a postal service is available. This service is subsidised by the library, and books and videos may be sent anywhere in the UK. There are introductions in BSL to the Scottish Sensory Centre and the Scottish Sensory Centre Resource Library on the website. The University of Edinburgh is an advisory partner to BSL:UPTAKE.
Signature (www.signature.org.uk) (formerly Council for the Advancement of Communication with Deaf People, CACDP) promotes excellence in communication with deaf and deafblind people so that its vision of a society in which deaf people have full access can become a reality. It encourages greater understanding of deaf and deafblind people and the languages and communication methods they use; it offers nationally recognised qualifications in subjects such as British Sign Language and speech to text reporting, which you can study at more than 700 locations across the UK and Ireland. Signature administers the National Registers for Communication Professionals working with Deaf and Deafblind People (http://www.nrcpd.org.uk). It has offices (http://www.signature.org.uk/page.php?content=7) in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Signature in Scotland (http://www.signature.org.uk/scotland) has an office in Glasgow. Signature’s website has a great deal of information about learning BSL, interpreter training, how to find and interpreter and many other topics. Much of the information is presented in BSL as well as English. Signature is an advisory partner to BSL:UPTAKE