From education to employment

Blackburn University Centre Student presents research on Deaf artists during Sign Language Week

Blackburn University Centre student, Hira Basat.

A Blackburn University Centre student from Nelson has presented research on how deaf culture is becoming more visible in the art world at Lancaster University’s 2022 Undergraduate Research Conference.

Hira Basat, 22, is a Deaf student who is studying a degree in Contemporary Textiles at Blackburn University Centre. Hira is a British Sign Language user and wanted to show how Deaf people can also do the same things that other people can do.

Hira created a poster presentation titled ‘Deaf artists – From struggle to success’ which was shown at Lancaster University’s 2022 Undergraduate Research Conference during Sign Language Week 2022.

Hira’s research also focuses on Deaf culture and how Deaf people face difficulties in a hearing world, Hira has used her own experiences to aid her research.

“I’ve been excited for my work to be shown but I also felt anxious. It’s the first time I have done anything like this and I’ve not had the opportunity to reach a large amount of people before.

“The feedback from my work has been good to have as I’ve wanted to find out if people had been impacted and whether they had learnt from my research.

“It’s been the best experience learning at Blackburn University Centre. School wasn’t as beneficial for me but with the support that I’ve received here, everything has improved for me and it’s all down to the support.”

Hira is an active member of the Deaf community and is culturally Deaf, she discussed the importance of Sign Language Week and what communicating means for Deaf people, she added: “It’s very important for Deaf people and those that can’t hear to be able to communicate.

“Sign Language Week promotes the use of sign language and without people learning sign language, Deaf people can often feel forgotten. Learning sign language also gives you the chance to meet new people and overall, it’s a really positive event for the Deaf community.”

Hira receives support from a sign language interpreter, note taker and Teacher of the Deaf to assist with her teaching and learning. Hira continued: “I’ve also had help with funding from the University who help to get the staff in place to support me. My interpreter Alison is with me for every lesson.

“I’m interested in embroidery and also quite like knitting. My father is a really good artists and my mother is good at preparing items of clothing so I had quite an artistic childhood growing up.

“I would like to perhaps look at possibly teaching Deaf people or work in textiles, there are lots of options.”

Blackburn College Principal and Chief Executive Dr Fazal Dad said: “The progress Hira has made since starting her degree at Blackburn University Centre has been amazing to see.

“Her research is something that she is passionate about and to have the opportunity to showcase this alongside other students from across the world has been an outstanding opportunity, and one that Hira has worked hard for and is well deserved.”

Related Articles