IPCITI day 2

The second day of the IPCITI conference began with a keynote panel, Graham Turner, CTISS, Heriot-Watt University Claudia Angelelli, CTISS, Heriot-Watt University Martin Gallagher, Police Scotland Delphine Jaouen, NHS Scotland. The discussion was on ‘Interpreting theory and practice in dialogue’ and touched mainly on how theory and practice can be relevant to each other. Its an important topic that academics often reflect on because there is a desire to make research worthwhile.

Inevitably, watching this debate I was carrying out my own checks to make sure what I was doing in my PhD was relevant. My PhD is funded by the Scottish Graduate School for Arts and Humanities (SGSAH). Part of the funding requirement is that two universities come together to form a partnership. In my case, the partnership is between Heriot-Watt University and the Scottish Institute of Police Research at the University of Dundee. Another criteria to the SGSAH funding is the inclusion of a non-academic partner, who are Police Scotland and SignVideo. It is through this collaboration an exchange is expected to happen. The sharing of knowledge and practice between all institutions.

Finally, I have joined a university that has a strong history in sharing knowledge gained through research with the community. Here at Heriot-Watt University we are part of the EdSign Lecture series and Bridging the Gap. These are examples of where research is shared with the community but also conversations with the community happen to inform research questions. In addition, I have worked on the Justisign project and Insign project where much of the research was shared in BSL and English via social media. I stepped in to an academic community that was active in making research accessible.  This inspired me to create this dedicated PhD website where information is presented in BSL and English.

This isn’t the end. We do need to keep checking our strategies and approaches with sharing research and communicating with the public. We need to constantly review how we share information and whether the messages are being fully understood.

About proxinterpreting

Robert Skinner is a qualified British Sign Language/English interpreter registered with the National Registers of Communication Professionals working with Deaf and Deafblind People (NRCPD). After more than 20 years of experience as an interpreter, Robert’s areas of specialism include: broadcast media (BBC News), video remote interpreting (with SignVideo), psychology, language processing, applied linguistics, mental health, community and international development. In 2007 Robert began to develop his research experience at Birkbeck (University of London) during completion of a Masters degree in Applied Linguistics. For his thesis, Robert conducted a typological study of BSL number variation in the UK: What Counts? A Typological and Descriptive Analysis of BSL Number Variation. This research documented four distinct BSL number systems and several sub-categories and led to Robert's employment as a researcher & in-house interpreter at the Deafness, Cognition and Language Research Centre (DCAL), University College London. During his time at DCAL Robert worked closely with Gabriella Vigliocco’s lab on a series of signed language processing studies investigating the effects of iconicity (the imagistic properties of sign), for more information click here. As an interpreter at DCAL Robert worked alongside deaf academics in neurology (the Deaf Brain project), language development (the BSL McArthur Bates CDI), sign linguistics and the BSL Corpus Project. In 2009, whilst at DCAL, Robert completed an MSc in Research Methods in Experimental Psychology. For his thesis, Robert developed a phonological decision paradigm where participants were required to identify upward or downward movements within BSL production: We Have Lift Off: Iconic effects with Up/Down Motion. This study contributes to the embodied theory of language processing, having found a facilitation effect when the upward/downward movement itself was iconic. Between 2014 and 2016 Robert continued his work as a Research Associate at Heriot-Watt University. Here Robert contributed to three research projects: Insign, Justisigns and Translating the Deaf Self. Find Robert on Research Gate or Academia.
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