School of Humanities, Language & Global Studies
Ricci is an innovative and dynamic lecturer in British Sign Language and Deaf Studies. He previously worked at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) for 3 years, from 2005 to 2008, as a research project officer, researching into the curriculum for teaching British Sign Language (BSL). Ricci has now returned to UCLan after teaching in a sixth form college for 10 years, which involved supporting deaf learners and learners with additional leaning needs to move towards the mainstream curriculum and to increase their employability potential. Ricci returned to UCLan in 2018 when an unexpected opportunity arose, and he was offered his first lectureship.
Ricci teaches a range of subjects across the BSL and Deaf Studies discipline, focussing mostly on ab initio learners of BSL and the teaching of communities, cultures and identities in society. He also focuses on the work placement opportunities for UCLan students and has recently taken on responsibility for supervising dissertation students. As an early-career higher education lecturer, Ricci’s teaching remit is developing rapidly and he is currently undergoing studies towards fellowship of the Higher Education Academy. Ricci has also been involved in the innovative lecturer apprenticeship scheme that has been rolled out across higher education institutions in the UK and he is about to complete his first year of the Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice.
Ricci is currently using his previous experience of supporting students in developing their employment potential to develop the employability skills of his students at UCLan. His expertise in this area is being used to embed employability skills into his teaching, particularly in relation to the work placement module, for which he has responsibility. He is passionate about concurrent teaching and learning practices and believes that this Increases students’ employment prospects and gives them some insight into the world of work, preparing them for the transition to employment after graduation. Ricci has been involved in several student exchanges and field trips, travelling abroad with UCLan students to expose them to different sign languages and different deaf cultures. Ricci’s experience has shown that, as a necessary addition to classroom learning, international trips broaden students’ knowledge and understanding of other languages and cultures, and teach them the importance of accepting and understanding diversity in deaf communities. Ricci has also developed a keen interest in advancing technologies, particularly video technologies, for dissemination of information through sign language. The unfortunate Covid-19 situation has exacerbated the need and demand for video communications that enable sign language discourses to take place, and Ricci has been innovative in producing and distributing signed resources across the internet.
- PGCert Academic Practice (Teaching and Learning), UCLan, 2019-2021
- BA (Hons) Deaf Studies, UCLan, 2004.
- Golden Roses Nominated Lecturer of the Year,2020
- Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Authority status, 2020
- Ricci has a keen interest in sociolinguistics and is developing his research interests in the sociolinguistics of deaf communities in particular. This includes preliminary research into grammatical aspect, urban sign language dialects, and cross generational developments in sign vocabulary. He has a particular interest in the individual’s adaptation and modification of sign language usage in different domains. Ricci also has interest and expertise in documentation of deaf history and preservation of sign language usage.
- Ricci is an associate member of the British Association of Teachers of the Deaf and supports the teaching profession in its development and continuing efforts to improve the education of deaf children
- He has Associate Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy status and is working towards full fellowship with this institution in order to continue along his career development path
- He is also Chair of the Old Heathlandian Association, a school alumni for ex-pupils of Heathlands School, where he contributes towards bringing Deaf people together to share their experiences as they journey through their adult lives
With his expertise in historical aspects of deaf community life, Ricci is currently co-working on a research article, titled ‘The Deaf Liberation Front: An untold story’. Through this article, Ricci aims to analyse events and affairs of the Deaf Liberation Front’s involvement in local campaigns and in the UK deaf community’s campaign for government recognition of British Sign Language as an indigenous language of the nation and official language of the deaf community. Ricci also plans to publish a reduced and simplified version of this article into the British Deaf History Society’s magazine in order to enable deaf people to have community access to the article, bridging the gap between academia and local communities.
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- Ricci’s research aims are encouraged by his involvement in UCLan’s research cluster group, Unit of Assessment 26, which will lead him eventually into the Research Excellence Framework level of academic writing and submission.
- In his previous position at UCLan, Ricci was involved in a research project titled, BSL QED (British Sign Language: Quality Embedding of the Disciplinary), culminating in the development of a website that provides a curriculum guide and resources for the study of BSL at HE level
- Alongside teaching, Ricci is also involved in other academic activities, and was successful, in 2019, in working with colleagues to secure a National Lottery Heritage Fund bid to conduct some research into the deaf community in Lancashire. This project aimed to document and preserve the lived experiences of deaf sign language users and was run in conjunction with the British Deaf History Society, a deaf empowerment group in Lancashire.
- Deaf Culture and History Symposium by UCLan and British Deaf History Society, Presotn, 2019
- European Network of Sign Language Teachers Symposium, Preston, 2019
- University of Central Lancashire's BSL & Deaf Studies' 25th Anniversary, Preston, 2019
- SIGN Workshop 'Cross-linguistic Sign Language Research (CSLR) at Max Planck Institution for Psycholinguistics, Nijmegen, The Netherlands, 2007
- Council for the Advancement of Communication with Deaf and Deafblind People Symposium, London, 2006
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