THE UK’s first fully online masters course in British Sign Language (BSL) has been launched at a Scottish university.
The Scottish Government’s BSL national plan, which was published last year, aims to make the country the best in the world for BSL users to live, work and visit.
Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh has now launched its masters degree in BSL-English interpreting to help public bodies make the goal a reality.
The programme is the only one of its kind in the UK and the institution expects interest from around the British Isles.
Lecturer Dr Rachel Mapson said: “Scotland is ahead of the game here, but as other countries are sure to follow suit we expect significant interest in the programme from around the UK.
“As public bodies begin to face up to their responsibilities under the BSL (Scotland) Act 2015, demands on BSL interpreters are likely to increase.
“Justice, healthcare, education and mental health are key issues within the act that our programme is responding to.”
Lessons will begin in September.
As a mere deaf person, I am only interested in useful communication, when they can find somewhere to use it that doesn't involve an interpreter or a membership requirement to the deaf community I might buy into it. We want to access the wider world and communication should be taught on that basis. BSL is a one-way street and cul de sac that requires a dependency on others, a no-no for the HoH and deafened. I can sign enough already but HAVE to rely on my education and voice to get by. If I relied on BSL I would be totally isolated.
A Masters! Wow! It will be very interesting to see what kind of take up they get. I would have thought that teaching BSL online, presumably via a video link of some kind would be an excellent way to do it.
In fact numerous people in the past have tried to set up BSL tutorial courses online and in the end it hasn't come to anything.
This is absolutely cutting-edge science, of course so it will be interesting to see what happens.