- Course: PhD Deaf Education
- PhD title: Sign language interpreting in a tertiary institution in Ghana
- Nationality: Ghanaian
Please tell us a bit about yourself.
I am a sign language interpreter and an educator for Deaf or hard of hearing (DHH) students. I also have a background in DHH education and sign language interpreting. I have interests in working on projects relating to DHH students within inclusive settings, especially at the tertiary level. I also have interests in training teachers for DHH students. My masters degree was in Special Education and I looked at the “implications of DHH students’ learning approaches on their academic achievements at a tertiary institution in Ghana”. My bachelors degree was in Special Education majoring on education for the hearing impaired and my minor was Mathematics.
What motivated you to undertake your PhD study at Leeds?
My motivation was to upgrade myself up to the PhD level in order to be a more independent researcher, to explore issues relating DHH education across the globe and also to train teachers for DHH students. I chose the University of Leeds as I thought they had supervisors who have expertise in my area of interest and also because Leeds is considered as a home for international education. Also, the University offers state-of-the-art equipment and is a research intensive institution of learning, which I learnt has supervisors who are friendly to students.
What is it that makes you passionate about this area of study?
There are inadequate professionals supporting DHH students globally. The situation is even compounded when we consider Sub-Saharan developing African countries. So I saw the need to upgrade myself in this field in order to train more professionals to support in this area.
How has your experience been so far?
I have learnt different things since I came to Leeds. My orientation about a lot of things including teaching and research have changed. I have the opportunity to send my work to my supervisors for review and meet with them fortnightly to discuss the progress of my work. They pose critical questions to keep me thinking and bring out the best in me. I have really seen that I have a lot of potential, which was underexplored but now I can do great things in terms of research, presentations, teaching etc, even though I am in my first year of study.
What do you think of the facilities?
To me, the University of Leeds is the best place for research and learning. The libraries and staff support are also superb.
How would you describe the research environment?
The research environment here at Leeds is very good and it is highly conducive for people who want to learn to be independent researchers. The support I receive is phenomenal because my supervisors see me as a colleague, establishing high expectations for the quality of my work.
What would you say to someone considering a research degree?
I would say the person has made the right decision because Leeds is a research driven university.
What are your plans once you have completed your PhD?
I hope to get a job in a tertiary institution where I can work with students and train teachers for DHH students. I would want to conduct more empirical and theoretical research to investigate the underexplored areas of Deaf education and sign language interpreting.