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Concept Note RITS Kenya 2010 Draft1

Concept Note RITS Kenya 2010 Draft1

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Published by Jack Owiti

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Published by: Jack Owiti on Jun 06, 2012
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Concept Paper on Sign Linguistics, Interpretation andTranslation Course
A Rationale for the Establishment of the Sign Linguistics,Interpretation and Translation Course at RITS
1.0 Background
The demand for qualified Kenyan Sign Language (KSL) interpreters is rapidly growing and isimpacting the deaf community. Current indications are that Kenyan Sign Language (KSL) will bethe new emerging language in Kenya. The expected new constitution is believed to give KSLpreeminence on the clauses addressing issues of persons with disabilities as a language of communication for the Deaf in Kenya. The Kenya National Examination Council in January 2010issued a circular making KSL an examinable subject in equal stature with English and Kiswahili.There is also an increasing number of students in Tertiary and Universities requiring the servicesof qualified, certified and competent interpreters. Kenya and the region is also budding withinternational conferences and forums involving the Deaf citizens thus widening the opportunitiesfor interpreters.Current training programs are unable to keep up with the increased demand for highly-trainedinterpreters with a nationwide interpreter shortage as the result. The Kenyan Sign LanguageInterpreters Association (KSLIA), the national professional associations of sign languageinterpreters, Kenya National Association of the Deaf – KNAD, Global Deaf Connections and theMinistry of Education have also recognized the insufficient numbers of interpreters available tomeet the market’s demand. The issues identified have been the lack of interpreter trainingprograms, although some colleges, universities and private companies with interpreter trainingprograms are aware of the need for improved quality and availability of training, many are simplyunaware of the extent of the interpreter shortage in the community.The Deaf Aid project Kenya Registry of Interpreters and Transliterates for the Deaf (KRITD) in itswhite paper declared a “national interpreter crisis in the quantity, quality and qualifications of interpreters.” This white paper identifies how stakeholders can collaborate to marshal resourcesto increase and improve interpreter training programs to help meet the urgent demand to trainlarger numbers of new interpreters and upgrade the qualifications of existing interpreters. ThePersons with Disabilities Act (PWD Act 2003) requires public institutions to provide “qualifiedreaders or interpreters and other similar accommodations for individuals with disabilities”
 
Themajor need is in public schools and higher education, but health care providers, hospitals,courts, public safety and other government offices are also seeing increased demand.Simultaneously, Deaf consumers of interpreting services have become more informed and aredemanding higher quality interpreting services that meet their individual needs. Consumers andconsumer organizations have expressed interest in being substantively involved in theidentification, development, and delivery of the educational opportunities provided through theseproposed areas of intervention. In order to train qualified interpreters to better meet the demandfrom consumers and consumer organizations, interpreter educators must be sufficient in number and be knowledgeable of current best practices. To address these issues and to contributetoward the education and training of a sufficient number of qualified interpreters to meet thecommunications needs of individuals who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing and individuals who areDeaf-blind, the Regional Interpreters and Translators School and it’s partners proposes toestablish priorities for the provision of educational activities for interpreters at all skill levels. Thegoal is to improve the quality of interpreters in the field by providing quality educational
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opportunities with consumer involvement throughout the process and with a specific focus oninterpreters working with a variety of consumers in Kenya.
2.0 Purpose
The purpose of this framework is to champion the training of currently practicing interpreters,train up coming interpreters and provide the Kenyan sign language interpreters with a forum for sharing knowledge and gain structured continued professional education.The objectives of the project will be to:-
a)
Train sign language interpreters;
 b)
Ensure the maintenance of the skills of sign language interpreters through continuingeducation;
c)
Provide opportunities for sign language interpreters to raise their level of competencethrough local and regional networking and collaboration.
d)
Develop information, education and communication materials for sign languageinterpreter training
e)
Strengthen capacity of sign language interpreter associations, clubs or networksregionally, nationallyRITS envisions that the project which will be implemented through it’s partnership with keystakeholders in the sign linguistics field and this will result in the following:-1.People will change their attitudes towards Sign Language and the Deaf.2.Communication between hearing people and the Deaf will be enhanced.3.Deaf people will have more or better access to information, education, politicaland socioeconomic activities or interactions.4.Deaf Kenyans will have qualified and competent interpreters available to giveinterpretation services in various settings5.Deaf people will gain more confidence in the learning process, self-expression, incommunicating with hearing people and in fighting for their rights.6.Creation of employment opportunities for Deaf individuals as trainers, and self-employment opportunities for interpreters after training.
3.0 Target Population
The aim of this program will be to provide the Kenyan Deaf and Deaf-blind community with aquality interpretation service to enable effective communication with the hearing community andinsure sustainable employment ready pool of qualified interpreters. Our target population will be:1.Individuals who have some interpreting capability but lack certification.2.Practicing interpreters with no academic or professional qualifications3.Family members and (volunteers) community interpreters already working in variousfields
4.
College students who have some Kenyan Sign Language and are eager joining theprofessionClear guideline will be set up by RITS and the stakeholders in the admission conditionality andentry criteria.
4.0 Process and Strategies
RITS believes that a comprehensive Sign Linguistics, Interpretation and Translation course willbe the best rationale and strategy to gain support within the local and political community of theinterpreters and Deaf in Kenya. Economic development is a high priority for most interpreterscurrently practicing they believe they need to investing in areas that will provide high paying job
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