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PhD graduate Dr Sam Lutalo-Kiingi honoured at UCLan commencement

4 December, 2014
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We are proud to share the news that our PhD graduate, Dr Sam Lutalo-Kiingi from Uganda, was awarded his degree certificate yesterday in a very memorable commencement ceremony at Preston Guild Hall. He finished his studies at iSLanDS earlier this year and was pleased to return to the UK this week for the graduation.

Dr Lutalo-Kiingi with a copy of his thesis entitled ‘A Descriptive Grammar of Morphosyntactic Constructions in Ugandan Sign Language (UgSL)’

Dr Lutalo-Kiingi with a copy of his thesis entitled ‘A Descriptive Grammar of Morphosyntactic Constructions in Ugandan Sign Language (UgSL)’

He said the highlight of the event was when Isabel Donnelly, the Dean of the School of Language, Literature and International Studies, used British Sign Language to present his award. He added: “I was overjoyed to see Isabel articulately sign ‘Congratulations for your PhD award, Sam’. It was a very emotional moment for me.”

Instead of clapping, all those in attendance applauded in sign language with waving hands. He said: “This reflects the great attitude toward deaf people and sign language that I have seen at iSLanDS and UCLan throughout my studies. The University has a well-deserved reputation for good accessibility. All staff and fellow students here have offered kindness and support over the years which will be much missed.”

Dr Lutalo-Kiingi with Academic Coordinator Simeon Hart, representing the iSLanDS Institute

Dr Lutalo-Kiingi with Academic Coordinator Simeon Hart, representing the iSLanDS Institute

In his current work as an academic at Kyambogo University in Uganda, he wants to encourage more people to challenge the idea that university courses, and especially postgraduate studies, are beyond the capabilities of deaf individuals. He added: “It has been proved time and again that deaf people have both the desire and the ability to achieve the very highest qualifications in academia. But in Africa, reaching a university-ready level of education is still very difficult for many deaf people due to the formidable communication barriers they face, and institutions that cater for deaf students are few and far between. It is vital for African and Western institutions to work together in order to build accessible avenues by which deaf Africans can reach university level in their home countries.”

Sam would like to thank Kyambogo University as well as Gallaudet University in the USA for providing support that enabled him to achieve his doctorate, and also is grateful for his family’s generous help and understanding throughout his studies.

Please join us in celebrating this notable commencement with Dr Lutalo-Kiingi.

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