Silence is golden as far as staff and students in the deaf studies department at the University of Central Lancashire are concerned.
For their ability to break down barriers and communicate with students with speech and hearing impairments has been publicly recognised by a national charity.
The Preston-based university has been shortlisted for a high profile national award by UK charity and leading awarding body in deaf communications, Signature.
UCLan is one of only four contenders in the Organisational Achievement category at the Signature Annual Awards, in recognition of its British Sign Language (BSL) and Deaf Studies programme – considered one of the best of its kind in the country.
Lynne Barnes, divisional co-ordinator for deaf studies at UCLan, said: “We are delighted and extremely proud to have been nominated for this award.
“It’s fantastic to have our efforts recognised, and going forward we will continue to expand the programme and to develop the team’s already strong reputation for teaching and research.”
The British Sign Language and deaf studies programme at UCLan is internationally acclaimned. Now in its 21st year, it is credited with having had a major impact on the training provision and professional development of people in deafness-related careers across the UK and has produced some groundbreaking collaborative work across Europe, the USA and South America.
In 2008, UCLan became the first university in the country to offer a BA (Hons) degree in BSL, and more recently introduced courses in BSL teacher training and an MA in BSL/English interpreting and translation.
Jim Edwards, Signature chief executive, said: “UCLan’s BSL and deaf studies programme is highly regarded and for good reason; 60 per cent of interpreters working in the UK today have been taught on UCLan courses. The university thoroughly deserves its place on the shortlist for its commitment to excellence in teaching and research in this field.”
UCLan will join shortlisted entrants in categories such as Teacher of the Year, Learner of the Year and Young Learner of the Year at a prestigious ceremony at Durham Cathedral in October.