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Sign language interpreters receive top up training in medical terminologies

It was very unique; family gets together as 21 Sign Language Interpreters gathered to receive top up training in medical terminology from Monday 24th March to Wednesday 2nd April, 2014 at the Washington View Hotel, Ejisu in the Ashanti Region.

The workshop was to build the capacity of participants to effectively play their role as Sign Language Interpreters and more specifically to achieve the following:  to provide a platform to assess and grade sign language interpreters- scheduled to be completed by the end of 2014, to compile a provisional data of sign language interpreters in each region and to gather a more detailed figures from participants by the end of April,  to help mobilize and register the sign language interpreters, and to help strengthen the Association of Ghanaian Sign Language Interpreters(AGSLI) by using innovative ways to promote and improve quality and standard of sign language  interpreting  services.

In his keynote address, Executive Director of Ghana National Association of the Deaf (GNAD) James M Sambian highlighted on Inclusion and the need to embrace the communication needs of Deaf People in the Healthcare Delivery System as a rights based issue. Inclusion, the Executive Director acknowledged, is right based and it is non- discriminatory “it is based on the rights of the individual (disabled or non-disabled) to full participation in national life”. Mr. Sambian proposed involvement of all stakeholders in policy programming and implementation thus bringing all hands on desk to participate effectively in all aspects of nation building.

He buttressed his argument by citing the United Nations Conventions on the Rights of the Child, to which Ghana is a signatory.  He also mentioned the United Nations Standard Rules for the equalization of opportunities for Persons With Disabilities (PWDs), (1992), the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), Article 25 and 29 of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana and the Disability Act of Parliament (2006).

Inclusion in summary is a right not charity or sympathy for the vulnerable in society such as Deaf Persons and PWDs to be given access to healthcare in the desired and appropriate formats (Sign Language Interpreters for the deaf, prescriptions in Braille or soft copy for the blind, ramps/wheelchairs for the physically disabled, flexibility for the intellectually disabled to mention but a few).

The following were identified as challenges of Sign Language Interpreters in Ghana: multiplicity of sign language varieties used in Ghana, non-existence of standard learning and teaching materials suitable for the deaf, lack of sign language interpreters trained and qualified to teach the deaf through the medium of sign language and high levels of illiteracy amongst the deaf. The rest are high unemployment rate amongst the deaf, poor or no delivery of public services to the deaf due mainly to inadequate budget allocation from central governments to public institutions, and weak association of the sign language interpreters.

Individual assessment was conducted after the open ceremony led by the National President Emmanuel Kweku Sackey. The assessment team consisted of: Emmanuel Kweku Sackey, Benjamin Bekoe, Godwin Amenumey, Marco Stanley Nyarko, and Kwabena Duah (all Sign Language Instructor) and Sign Language Interpreter George Pinto.

The main facilitators were Messrs Pinto and Nyarko. The topics treated were:  mode/tone imitation, the interpretation situation, medical / health related signs, sign- to -voice interpreting, interpreters position, professional practice/code of ethics , pronounce & indexing, rules in finger – spelling.

Messrs. Bekoe, Sackey, Amenumey and Kwabena Duah took the participants through related words, idioms and health related words. The capacity of the interpreters was assessed as they took turns to interpreter recorded audios, music, voice and also did voice over interpretation. Participants also had time to discuss matters of interest- the very issues that help promote the development of AGSLI.

GNAD Communications Officer Julius Akuokoh was assigned to take photos and videos and prepare them as resources materials for participants aside providing other logistics supports.

It was indeed a family gets together and very unique of all the training organized for Sign Language Interpreters because it focused on health related signs with assessment by the owners of the language- the Deaf People themselves. The final evaluation reviewed that the participants did enjoy; many appealing for more of such a family gets together -training to master idioms in sign language. Our thanks go STAR-Ghana for the financial support.     































4 Responses to “Sign language interpreters receive top up training in medical terminologies”

  1. this is really going to help.
    thanks to the team

    Posted by Amparbeng Godfred | 12/04/2014, 8:02 am
  2. I wish to be part of this noble family .

    Posted by mercy Boadua Eduful | 11/05/2014, 11:05 pm
  3. Very good effort to train interpreters in sign language. My worry is the multiplicity of signs in the country. I think the association should focus more on registering more interpreters and to help standardise the language. There can even be a written Ghanaian sign language.

    Posted by Dzeani Phinehas | 04/06/2016, 8:14 pm
  4. Great work… But more interpreters need to be registered and engaged in education like this

    Posted by Asomani Bismark Osei | 21/07/2017, 3:24 am

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