MEP backs Heriot-Watt on EU sign language project

23 June 2006
A project by Heriot Watt University in conjunction with two other European Universities to improve sign language interpretation across the EU has been given the backing of Scotland's MEPs today.

Scottish National Party MEP Alyn Smith has been joined by his fellow Scottish MEPs in offering their support to the project and lobbying the European Commission to accept its application for funding.

The project, combining Heriot Watt, with Universities in Finland and Germany aims to improve the skills of sign language interpreters by creating a European Masters in Sign Language Interpreting. (EUMASLI).

Speaking after submitting a letter of support to European Education Commissioner Jan Figel Mr Smith said

"Heriot Watt has developed a great idea here and I congratulate them on getting to this point.

"Heriot Watt's Centre for Translation & Interpreting Studies is at the forefront of efforts to increase the number of sign language interpreters in Scotland and is doing a great job.

"I hope the European Commission will be able to see how important this is for improving sign language services in Scotland and across the EU and will find a way to fund the project.

"It's good to see Heriot Watt taking the lead here with their fellow European Universities.

"If this project gets the go ahead sign language interpreters will be able to receive their training not just in Edinburgh but in Finland and Germany as well.

"I hope to see this project go from strength to strength and look forward to a successful result from the European Commission."