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Government officers benefit from Kenyan Sign Language training

The National Council for Persons with Disabilities has partnered with the Kenya Institute of Special Education (KISE) to train government officers in Kenyan Sign Language to enable individuals with hearing impairment to access public services.

Speaking during the Kenyan Sign Language training at Kisii primary school in Kisii town, KISE Representative John Mwaura said they want to impact knowledge among government workers who provide services to citizens so that they can ensure people who are deaf are incorporated and served appropriately in government offices.

Mr Mwaura noted the program has been running within different training centers in the country to reach as many government workers as possible from different counties.

“We are providing the participants with basic knowledge of the Kenyan Sign Language for three months to help them to speak, interpret, and assist those with hearing loss in their areas of need,” he said.

Mwaura added that KISE aims to have at least 10 percent of the Kenyan population with knowledge of Kenyan Sign Language to ensure they support those with hearing impairment from different communities.

Samuel Mokua, a Sign Language Facilitator from the National Council for Persons with Disabilities noted the training is free of charge and targets workers at the Huduma Centers countrywide and other government sectors that interact with people with hearing loss.

Mokua noted the training in Kisii had incorporated government workers from Kisii, Nyamira, Bomet, Kericho, Migori, and Homa bay counties.

Jackline Janai, a participant and staff at Huduma Center Kisii, told KNA that she had learned to communicate with the deaf community through the training and can assist them whenever they seek information at the customer care desk.

“Previously, I would look for a pen and paper and request the deaf clients to write down the service they require at our offices. However, I am happy that I have learned the basics of Kenyan Sign Language and will be able to assist citizens with hearing impairment,” said Janai.

By Mercy Osongo

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