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Civil servants urged to embrace Sign Language

Civil servants from Bungoma County have been asked to embrace Kenyan Sign Language (KSL) in a bid to communicate well with the deaf and serve them better.

In an interview with KNA in his office, Adrian Sakwa, the chairman of Bungoma County Disability network, encouraged civil servants and service providers to embrace KSL in order to offer services to the deaf community.

Sakwa called on civil servants to take advantage of the sponsorship by the National Council for Persons with Disability (NCPWD) in collaboration with Kenya Institute of Special Education (KISE) to train beneficiaries in KSL.

He regretted that for a long time many deaf people have been denied services in many public offices or not given proper services due to language barrier.

He also asked the government to introduce Kenyan Sign Language in the school curriculum and make it mandatory for all learners since it is also a language that should be embraced by all.

“If KSL is taught at an early stage all learners will embrace it and communication will be eased between the deaf and the hearing people,” said Sakwa.

He added that Kenyan Sign Language should be taken seriously like any other language since it is the deafs’ first language and it can offer effective communication.

Bungoma County NCPWD Coordinator, Rose Amiru said that between the financial year 2017/2018 and 2019/2020 they have sponsored 26 civil servants from Bungoma County to learn KSL.

Amiru encouraged more people to apply during the next intake so that they can learn and know KSL to serve the deaf better.

She regretted that many times people have shied away from serving the deaf due to communication barrier and they end up referring the deaf to her office and telling her your people are here.

She added that some people try to serve the deaf by writing on pieces of paper but not all deaf are literate which ends up denying them services.

By Maureen Imbayi

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