Some of you may remember that earlier this year we talked to Emily Quinn Smyth and Dr Andy Leigh in our post Breaking Barriers: Emily Quinn Smyth and Dr Andy Leigh on Auslan, communication and science. We heard about how the limitations imposed on those who are deaf and hard of hearing by the lack of scientific terminology available to Auslan speakers. Emily’s experience and her mission to make science more inclusive not only impressed us, but a whole lot of other people!

Putting research into practice

You can read about how Emily’s project has developed at UTS in this month’s U:Mag, or read the article Words from the Wise online. Now working with Dr Yvonne Davila from the Science faculty, Emily’s in discussions with the aim of making science in higher education more accessible to all. Yvonne comments that

One of the reasons I wanted to talk to Emily about her project was to hear about her experiences as a science student and discuss how we can implement inclusive design in more ways in the science faculty. My main projects focus on developing students’ academic and professional communication skills. Addressing students’ learning needs is one of the first things I consider when designing and creating learning activities. Emily’s work really highlighted to me that there is more work to do to share scientific findings to a broader audience.

Make sure to check out UTS: Newsroom to read the rest of the interview.

Raising awareness on a national level

And to top that off, Emily’s been making headlines in The Canberra Times and even appeared in parliament recently to raise awareness of the push for more Auslan vocabulary in science. She’ll also be at the Science in Australia Gender Equity (SAGE) symposium in September to deliver the closing address.

We’ve also been lucky enough to welcome Emily onboard as a colleague in the learning.futures Academic Hub. So as well as completing her graduate research in science, appearing at multiple events to campaign for inclusion, and working with UTS academics, she’s providing technology support to the learning and teaching community. We’re feeling very lucky to have her as part of our team – onya Emily!

Feature image credit: Stella Thai. From L-R, Dr Yvonne Davila and Emily Quinn Smyth.

  • […] For someone who is profoundly deaf and skilled at lipreading this seemed easy. Yet I’ve quickly discovered how hard it is when you want to communicate but do not have the vocabulary to do so. This makes me even more determined to continue my work on Auslan in the Scientific World. […]

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