Sign language a way forward for better communication

|     James Kon     |

MINISTER of Culture, Youth and Sports Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Awang Haji Aminuddin Ihsan bin Pehin Orang Kaya Saiful Mulok Dato Seri Paduka Haji Abidin launched a three-day Basic Sign Language Workshop in a ceremony at Pusat Bahagia in Kampong Pulaie yesterday .

The ceremony saw an opening speech by Chairman of the National Hearing-Impaired (OKP) Anwar bin Haji Johari, who used sign language to highlight some of the challenges faced by the hearing-impaired community, including inadequate education, employment difficulties and limited contact with the outside world.

He said, “We would also like to have a better standard of life… Even the greeting of Assalamualaikum is sufficient for us to feel valued and accepted within the community. We are very pleased with this initiative, which will provide more exposure to sign language.”

A total of 75 participants will attend the workshop that is aimed at providing public exposure on the use of sign language to communicate with persons with disabilities, especially those with hearing impairment.

From the first session until February 27, the participants will learn to use hand shapes to spell letters and numbers, as well as greeting people with hearing impairment.

Organised by the Community Development Department (JAPEM), with the cooperation of the Special Education Unit (SEU) at the Ministry of Education; the Otorhinolaryngology Division (ENT), audiology services and teachers for the hearing-impaired under the Ministry of Health; and the OKP, as well as volunteers from Universiti Teknologi Brunei (UTB)’s graduate students, the workshop is divided into six sessions to take place from February to November.

Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Awang Haji Aminuddin Ihsan bin Pehin Orang Kaya Saiful Mulok Dato Seri Paduka Haji Abidin launches a three-day Basic Sign Language Workshop in a ceremony at Pusat Bahagia in Kampong Pulaie yesterday
Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Awang Haji Aminuddin Ihsan bin Pehin Orang Kaya Saiful Mulok Dato Seri Paduka Haji Abidin in a group photo with Basic Sign Language Workshop participants. – PHOTOS: JAMES KON