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UK Jodi Awards shortlist breaks new ground

British Sign Language on the rise

This year’s strong Jodi Awards shortlist reveals new trends and breaks new ground. The UK Jodi Awards 2010 will be presented on 1 December by BBC Radio Scotland Jounalist Janice Fosyth at the Scottish Storytelling Centre. Earlier during the day, we will be running ‘Doing Digital Sensibly’, a free seminar jointly organised with Digital Access Scotland, the National Archives of Scotland, Museums Galleries Scotland and the Scottish Libraries and Information Council.

For the first time half of all shortlisted projects are about access to collections for deaf people. For the first time, the judges shortlisted two nominations for the Award for best project for people with a learning disability. The shortlist also highlights the engagement of medical museums for the first time.

The shortlist consists of:

  • the Historic Royal Palaces, which provides key visitor information to five historic properties in British Sign Language (BSL) online, presented by a deaf actor in period costumes.

  • the Roman Baths, which created a full length BSL version for its multi-lingual audio tours, signed by well known BSL presenter Clive Mason.

  • the Royal Collection, which included ten BSL video clips exploring the main themes of the ‘Victoria and Albert: Art and Love’ exhibition and made them available online.

  • the Inclusive Communication Essex website, a project by Essex County Council Libraries. , provides resources countywide for care staff, parents and learning disabled people to support communication with and by learning disabled people: speech, signing, body language, pictures, objects and informal gestures.

  • Medicine at the Movies, a project in which disabled people and people at risk of exclusion used museums collections and spaces to develop their own stories and films about medicine and health. The Thackray Museum involved people with a hearing impairment and the George Mashall Museum mental health service users. At the British Dental Museum, a film devised by adults with a learning disability about dental hygiene has been included by the museum in Key-Stage 2 museum learning materials.


Marcus Weisen, Director of the Jodi Mattes Trust said:

“It is heartening to see more museums embrace British Sign Language. BSL is a recognised indigenous language. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (2008) recognises deaf people as a linguistic and cultural minority and article 30 the right of disabled people to take part in cultural life on equal terms. Thanks to the three shortlisted BSL projects, all of which have their own unique context, we are leaning much about what makes for a quality BSL service. Over the next two years, we will build this knowledge and pass it on to the sector. For example, should a BSL video clip have sub-titles? What are the pros and cons of recording BSL in studio and onsite? Should there be several BSL presenters? How can deaf people get quick access to online information about BSL services?

We are also very excited to have shortlisted two strong projects for people with a learning disability for the first time. These projects demonstrate the wealth of opportunities there are and that still need unlocking to improve access to information, communication, creativity and collections for people with a learning disability.

As a former MLA Health Adviser and a complementary health practitioner, I am wholly delighted by the health and social inclusion contribution of Medicine at the Movies. In case you haven’t noticed, medical museums are definitively renewing their image.

The Panel of Judges will have an exciting and possibly difficult task to select the Winners when it meets mid November. Watch this space.”

Posted on Friday 8th October, 2010

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