The British Deaf Association sends its heartfelt congratulations to an exceptional and very highly respected Deaf campaigner, Lilian Lawson, OBE who has been awarded an honorary doctorate by Heriot Watt University in recognition of her lifetime achievements in Scotland and across the UK, especially in the field of British Sign Language research.

Left to right: Chancellor, Dr Robert M Buchan, Dr Lillian Lawson, and the Principal, Professor Richard A WilliamsDr Terry Riley OBE, the Chair of the Association, said “The BDA is very proud to learn that one of the UK's most staunch advocates for BSL has been honoured by Heriot Watt University, the only University in Scotland that invests in the development of British Sign Language Studies and Interpreting.

"I have known Lilian for 40 years, and have always admired her strength and passion, and most of all her determination. Lilian has been an inspirational Scottish Deaf leader and, more recently, a leading champion of the BSL (Scotland) Bill. She has also long been a positive role model to Deaf women in the UK and overseas. On behalf of the BDA I offer our sincere congratulations on a well-deserved honour for Dr Lilian Lawson OBE.”

Avril Hepner, BDA Scotland’s Community Development Manager, added “It has been a true pleasure and honour to have worked with Lilian for many years in the field of British Sign Language recognition. Her work has contributed greatly to the many positive changes in the lives of the Scottish Deaf community. Lilian's calmness, wisdom and encouragement has kept us going.

"But our work is unfinished. We want to ensure that every public authority contributes effectively following the publishing of the BSL national plan in October 2017 - to make a real difference for us all. Congratulations, Lilian."