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Non-Medical Helper support for deaf and hard of hearing students in higher education: a study of interpreting and notetaking provision.


This project examines the Non-Medical Helper (NMH) support provided to deaf and hard of hearing (HoH) students, funded by Student Finance England, studying full-time at universities in the U.K. during the period September 2017 to December 2019.


The main objective of this study is to examine the interpreting and note-taking support provided in the higher education (HE) classroom to enable deaf and hard of hearing students using British Sign Language to access the curriculum in light of the changes to Disabled Student Allowances (DSA) funding in April 2016.


Research questions:

  1. Who is providing interpreting and note-taking support in the HE classroom?
  2. Is the NMH support provided meeting the communication needs of deaf and HoH students?
  3. Is the DSA-QAG framework workable for all stakeholders?
  4. What tools, coping strategies and linguistic features are adopted by interpreters and CSWs when interpreting the source language (spoken, academic English) into the target language (BSL)? 

This page will be updated shortly with further information about the project and information for participants. 


Conference presentations

Interpreting for deaf students in HE. Watch Your Language 2018. City Lit, London 12/04/18


Improving accesss provision for deaf studens in HE. What more can be done?  Westminster Briefing, London 15/11/17



Lewin, F. & Schembri, A. (2011) Mouth gestures in British Sign Language (BSL): A case study of tongue protrusion in BSL narratives. Sign Language & Linguistics 14(1), 94-114.




Frances Lewin

Frances Lewin is a PhD student at UCL Institute of Education working under the supervision of Professor Chloe Marshall and Dr Robert Adam