In addition to being Professor in Deaf Studies at the Centre for Deaf Studies, Lorraine Leeson is Associate Vice Provost for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (2021-). She previously served as Associate Dean of Research (2018-2021).
Her research work is multidisciplinary in nature, influenced by her background in Deaf Studies, Gender Studies and Linguistics. She has published widely on aspects of the linguistics and applied linguistics of signed languages with a specific interest in Irish Sign Language and the area of sign language interpreting.
Her doctoral work was the first to examine aspects of the morphosyntax of Irish Sign Language, and subsequent to this, she has published and lectured widely on aspects of the grammar of Irish Sign Language, and in the area of signed language/spoken language interpreting. Lorraine was a member of the first cohort of professionally trained Irish Sign Language/English interpreters in Ireland, and she continues to interpret occasionally.
She has engaged in pan-European research work with academic institutions, Deaf communities and interpreting organisations for over two decades. Recent projects include:
– Promoting Excellence in Sign Language Instruction (funded by the European Centre for Modern Languages (ECML) 2015-18. See: http://www.ecml.at/ECML-Programme/Programme2016-2019/SignLanguageInstruction/tabid/1856/language/en-GB/Default.aspx,
– the DESIGNS project, which focused on Deaf peoples’ access to employment (Erasmus+). See: http://designsproject.eu
– the European Commission funded Justisigns Project (access to justice across several EU member states) (completed 2016), which examined deaf peoples’ access to police services, and which was awarded a European Language Label Award in 2017.
Lorraine also led the PRO-Signs (funded by the European Centre for Modern Languages (ECML)) which looked at the teaching, learning and assessment of signed languages for professional purposes with collaboration from over 30 countries across Europe. See: http://www.ecml.at/F5/tabid/867/Default.aspx (Completed 2015).
She is currently working on a number of projects including: * Justisigns 2, a European Commission funded project that seeks to improve access to services for deaf, migrant and refugee women who experience gender based violence. (2020-2022)
* SignON, a Horizon 2020 funded project that seeks to develop the quality of machine translation for sign language (MTSL), driven by a co-creation methodology that places deaf community engagement as central to the project’s goals. As part of this project, Rachel Moiselle is working on a PhD project on depiction in Irish Sign Language. This project work is managed via the ADAPT SFI Centre. (2021-2024)
* TORCH – Towards Open Responsible Research and Innovation through CHARM-EU is a Horizon 2020 SwafS support action funded project that seeks to develop the research framework for the CHARM-EU European University Alliance. Cross cutting focal points of this project are Open Science (Open Scholarship), Research Integrity, and the fostering of transdisciplinary and intercultural work.(2021-2024)
Recent publications include “Sign Language in Action” with Jemina Napier (2016), “Interpreting and the Politics of Recognition”, co-edited with Christopher Stone (2018), and, most recently, a special issue of the journal, Teanga, on Irish Sign Language (2020).