SIPR Blog: Proximity interpreting: day-to-day policing and delivering access for deaf citizens

In December 2017 I attended the SIPR-Police Scotland Postgraduate Student conference. This annual event is an opportunity for post-graduate students who are doing research into different areas of policing to to come together and be students – present on their work, share ideas, collect feedback and learn from each other.

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SIPR Blog: Proximity interpreting: day-to-day policing and delivering access for deaf citizens.

We represented a real mix. There were students looking at technology and police body cams, how the police best handle civilians with mental health issues, how policing services respond to people with Alzheimer’s, and so on.I delivered a presentation based on my research, which considers the use of video-mediated interpreting (VMI) services in front line policing.  Part of my presentation explained the changes brought about the BSL (Scotland) Act (2015) and how public authorities in Scotland now have a duty to consult with Scottish deaf people. With the current legislation in place supporting the inclusion of BSL my research has the potential to feed into how the police determine future development of VMI services.

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@TheSIPR Tweet – Dec 15 2017

I was keen to make sure people understood the importance of consulting with deaf people and rethink how different communities could be served. To conclude… I was given the award for Best Presentation 2017 at the SIPR-Police Scotland Postgraduate Student conference. I have produced a blog summarising my conference presentation and if you would like to view the SIPR blog (in English) visit Proximity interpreting: day-to-day policing and delivering access for deaf citizens SIPR Blog. The Vimeo video above is a BSL summary of the blog. Special thanks goes to the participants who have supported my research so far.


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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