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Sign Language Interpreters Importance Highlighted

Sign Language Interpreters Importance Highlighted
Leona Tamainai (circled) with other members and participants at the WASLI Pre-Conference at the Peninsula International Hotel, Suva on August 16, 2018. Photo: Swashna Chand
August 18
11:00 2018

After graduating from the University of the South Pa­cific, my future plan is to teach the children sign language from an early age so that they are able to communicate properly in the society.

These comments were made by hearing-impaired tertiary student Leona Tamainai, who was attend­ing the World Association of Sign Language Interpreters (WASLI) pre-conference in Suva on Thurs­day.

The conference itself started yes­terday.

Ms Tamainai is currently doing her diploma in Early Childhood Education at USP.

She said the conference was very beneficial and interesting because it talked about the role of interpret­ers and hearing-impaired people in the society.

“It’s always important to have interpreters in the society for us hearing-impaired citizens to know the happenings in the society and to voice our thoughts.

“I had drop out of high school be­cause there was no interpreter, so that was the major challenge I had to face.

“I started learning sign language at the age of seven which is late to me,” she said.

Manager for the Disability Re­source Centre at USP, Merelesita Qeleni, said the pre-conference was very enlightening and informative, fostering collaboration and under­standing between sign language interpreters and other service pro­viders.

“I have enjoyed working with sign language interpreters and the deaf as it has enabled me to be inclusive with my approach to life as well as to be sensitive to the needs of dif­ferent people,” she said.

Edited by Jonathan Bryce


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