The University of Bristol has announced plans to close its Centre for Deaf Studies. The plan is subject to approval by the university council later this week.
The university has issued the following statement on the proposed closure of the centre.
“The University is rightly proud of the achievements of the Centre, which began its work in 1978, and it has made a valuable contribution to research and teaching and has brought benefits to the Deaf community. The Faculty has vigorously pursued all viable routes to sustain the Centre, but has concluded – with regret – that this is not possible.
There are eight research students currently registered to Deaf Studies research programmes and a small number of students on the MSc in Deafhood Studies. The Faculty is in discussion with each of the students to consider how the University can best support them to complete the programme of study for which they are registered.”
The campaign group Save Deaf Studies has expressed its disappointment over the university’s decision to close the popular centre.
Campaigners believe that a smaller research-focused centre could stay open, if the right support is given. The Save Deaf Studies campaigners claim that alternative proposals to keep the centre open have not been considered by the university authorities.
The university has also been accused by campaigners of reneging on a deal to provide the centre with a cash subsidy to keep it open. However, the university has denied this, telling The Limping Chicken that there is no truth to the allegation.
Plans to shut the centre has been criticised by leading deaf studies experts.
“The proposed closure of the CDS is devastating for the disciplines of both Deaf Studies and Sign Language Interpreting Studies. Having studied and worked at the CDS the academic team’s ability to nurture in-depth understanding of ‘being deaf’ in a non-deaf world is unparalleled in Europe and one of the foremost places to study globally,” Dr Christopher Stone of UCL Deafness, Cognition and Language Research Centre, said in a statement.
In 2010, the university axed the BSc Deaf Studies programme, despite protests from students, academics and the Deaf community.
You can sign a petition to save the Centre for Deaf Studies here: http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/save-bsc-deaf-studies.html
Image: Adrian Pingstone via Wikimedia Commons under Creative Commons licence
By Paul Harrison, the Limping Chicken’s News Reporter. Paul is a freelance journalist, currently living and working in London. When not at his desk writing or tweeting, he can be found at a coffee shop or Loftus Road/The Stoop/Celtic Park (delete as applicable) mumbling insults at the referee or sloppy passing. Follow him on Twitter as @paulbharrison
The Limping Chicken is the UK’s deaf blogs and news website, and is the world’s most popular deaf blog. It is edited by Deaf journalist and filmmaker Charlie Swinbourne.
Please note that the views of the writers are their own, and not necessarily the views of the Editor or site as a whole. Read our disclaimer here.
- Phonak: innovative technology and products in hearing acoustics
- Ai-Live: Find out 5 ways to fund live captions at your event!
- Bellman & Symfon: home alerting solutions
- Deaf Umbrella: sign language interpreting and communications support
- Clarion: BSL/English interpreting and employment services
- Appa: Communication services for Deaf, Deafblind and hard of hearing people
- SignVideo: Instant BSL video interpreting online
- 121 Captions: captioning and speech-to-text services
- Hearing Direct: Online hearing aids
- The National Theatre: Captioned and BSL accessible theatre in London
- Doncaster School for the Deaf: education for Deaf children
- SignLive: Online video interpreting for Deaf people
- RAD Tax Advice: Tax and Tax Credit info for Deaf people
- Deaf Independent: Deaf care and support services
- Signworld: online BSL learning and teaching materials
- Signed Culture: Advocating for BSL access to arts and culture
- Sarah Gatford: BSL interpreting, training and consultancy
- SignHealth: healthcare charity for Deaf people
- CJ Interpreting: communication support in BSL
- Sign Solutions:, language and learning
- Action Deafness Communications: sign language and Red Dot online video interpreting
- BSLcourses.co.uk: Provider of online BSL courses
- British Society for Mental Health and Deafness: Promoting positive mental health for deaf people
- deafPLUS: Money advice line in BSL
- Happy: Microsoft Office courses taught in BSL and SSE by a Deaf trainer – all abilities catered for
- Hamilton Lodge School in Brighton: education for Deaf children
- Lipspeaker UK: specialist lipspeaking support
- Ozen: Australian hearing aid specialists
- Elmfield School, Bristol: Inclusive education for Deaf pupils
- Exeter Deaf Academy: education for Deaf children
- DCAL: Find out how to study at the Deafness Cognition and Language Research Centre, London
- cSeeker: Deaf-led educational communication support service