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Jenny Webster

Research Associate
School of Humanities, Language & Global Studies

Jenny’s research areas are sign language endangerment, sign multilingualism, and deaf literacy. She has been working at UCLan since 2001, and at iSLanDS since 2007. In addition to her research role, Jenny provides English language support to deaf students and academics, including translations between British Sign Language and English.

Jenny has published papers on sign language vitality and multilingual behaviour in sign language users. She co-edited the book Sign Multilingualism with Ulrike Zeshan. Her forthcoming publications include an e-book and course manual to support the formalisation of deaf language and literacy trainers in the Global South. Since 2007 she has worked on a range of publications and projects at iSLanDS on sign language typology, deaf literacy, applied sign language linguistics, and endangered sign languages.

Jenny studied journalism at UCLan (BA, 2003) and English at Lancaster University (MA with distinction, 2007), and then returned to UCLan to study interpreting and translation (Postgraduate Diploma, 2015). She worked as an electronic notetaker for many years, during which she taught electronic notetaking courses and was a founding member of the Association of Notetaking Professionals (ANP) and the beta-tester for UCLan’s NoteED electronic notetaking software. In 2010 she became a Stagetext-qualified theatre captioner, and since then she has been captioning productions at Theatre by the Lake in Keswick. Her role at iSLanDS changed from editorial and project support to research in 2019. She has written two journal articles with Josefina Safar on scoring the vitality of sign languages (2019, forthcoming), and co-authored two chapters in Sign Multilingualism (De Gruyter, 2020). In the areas of deaf literacy and multiliteracies, she is working with deaf peer tutors based in India to produce resource materials including best practice examples and a bilingual handbook for deaf language and literacy trainers, which will be available in both English and Indian Sign Language. She is interested in the contribution of collaborative writing processes to the ‘deaf multiliteracies’ approach to learning, which uses peer support, ‘real life English’ and sign language. She is investigating how co-writing affects the upskilling of deaf tutors in the Global South and their trajectory from peer tutors to professional teachers with qualified status and academic profiles.

  • BA (hons) Journalism, UCLan, 2003
  • MA English Language, Lancaster University, 2007
  • Postgraduate Diploma BSL/English Interpreting and Translation, UCLan, 2015
  • Sign Language Endangerment
  • Sign Multilingualism
  • Deaf Literacy
  • Deaf Multiliteracies