Update: education, diaspora, genetics and group rights

An incredibly hectic period! It’s always busy, but these last three months have been a workload tsunami to beat all workload tsunamis!

Here’s an update.

Struggling with swine flu back in August, I wrote up an ‘Expression of Interest’ for a Centre for Deaf Studies project to evaluate the work being undertaken by the I-Sign Consortium. The consortium received £800,000 from the Department of Children, Schools and Families to undertake a pilot project into increasing BSL in education and within families. We are evaluating that project. Just beat the deadline by 4 minutes. CDS will soon begin the process of evaluation, using Theory of Change and Distance Travelled methods.

It promises to be a challenge, and we wait with interest to see how the project itself progresses in the next 15-18 months.

Secondly, I’ve been working with colleagues to look at the possibility of undertaking research on the concept of Sign Language Peoples Diaspora.  A lot of ground covered, but hope to have something published soon on our thinking around the concept of Diaspora. It’s totally early days for that.

Finally, the group rights research is slowly progressing. This coming Saturday I fly out to India to the SIGN4 Conference, where I am giving a paper on group rights. It’s entitled ‘Putting the World to Rights: Group Rights and Deaf Communities’.

In addition to having been internal assessor of a PhD for the second time, chaired and hosted a UK Deaf Academics meeting at Bristol, and undertaken some teaching on ‘Learning Skills’ on the MSc Deafhood course and other typical university-type work stuff.

Research I was involved with around genetics: Anna Middleton has published the work we did, including a DVD from the workshop in Cardiff last year.  There are two published articles in ‘Sign Language Studies’ forthcoming, all joint-authored, one of which includes a summary of media reporting of the movement opposing the HFE Bill. That is in the next issue of SLS.

No rest for the wicked!

Enjoy the festive break.

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