Recent MA Special Educational Needs and Inclusion Graduate (2022) Anastasia Sofia Semaan, was highly commended at the prestigious Green Gown Awards, in the Student Sustainability Champion category.
The award ceremony was held this month at Loughborough University as part of the EAUC Annual Conference where Anastasia’s work was recognised for a project in which she developed and translated the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) into a simplified and accessible format using Widgit Symbols, used to support students with additional needs.
Widgit Symbols are simply drawn, colourful symbols and illustrate a single concept in a clear and concise way which cover a range of topics and use predominantly pictorial symbols, either as an alternative to text, or to accompany it.
“My contribution will hopefully lead to the beginning of a process of translating the SDGs into local sign and symbol languages and developing activities around this.”
Anastasia has been working with University’s Student Green Office and Sustainability Development Unit throughout her time at the University and was commended by the Vice-Chancellor Professor Rama Thirunamachandran. He said: “This award is a wonderful recognition of the innovative and ambitious work undertaken by Anastasia to make the SDGs more inclusive and accessible. The fact that one of our students felt empowered to produce this work of potentially global impact is a source of great pride for us as a values-driven and socially committed University.”
Anastasia’s work was also recognised in Canterbury’s first Climate Action Awards in September and awarded as a ‘Leader in Innovation’, organised by the Canterbury Climate Action Partnership (CCAP) and sponsored by E.On, HSBC UK and Canterbury BID.
The Green Gown Awards recognise the exceptional sustainability initiatives undertaken by universities and colleges. The awards have become established as the most prestigious recognition of best practice within the further and higher education sector.