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SIGNS@HWU is a group of researchers who focus on sign language studies and Deaf Studies. We are situated in the Department of Languages and Intercultural Studies, Heriot-Watt University. SIGNS@HWU was established as a cluster of the Centre for Translation and Interpreting Studies in Scotland, to profile the world-leading interdisciplinary research being conducted at Heriot-Watt University.

As the top and bottom banners of this website show, our range of research interests and and expertise include sign linguistics, language policy, sign language interpreting, translation, deaf history and heritage, deaf geographies, ethnography, language ideologies, multilingualism, brokering and mediation, film and TV. Our combined (current and recent) sites of in-depth research projects include the UK, Australia, the US, Indonesia, Kenya, India, Belgium, and Denmark. We also do research in the context of international events such as conferences.

SIGNS@HWU includes deaf and hearing researchers from the UK, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Australia, Costa Rica and the US. The group consists of about 20 people: six full-time staff members, a fluctuating number of PhD students, honorary scholars and visiting scholars. The wider team also includes 3 permanent in-house interpreters and a pool of casual teaching assistants and research assistants. We all are fluent in at least one sign language. We use British Sign Language and International Sign in our meetings and activities.