FEDOMA ask for sign language interpreters in institutions

Thyolo: Thyolo District Disability Forum under the Federation of Disability Organisations in Malawi (FEDOMA) on Thursday asked stakeholders at district level to consider having an officer who could interpret sign language for easy communication.

The Chairperson of the District Disability Forum in the district, Samuel Chingamba, said that there was a need to advocate for better communication for people with hearing challenges so that they get better services in all public and private institutions.

Many of government offices in the district do not have sign language interpreters. This hinders effective communication between service providers and the deaf. We want this situation to change for the better, he said.

Chigamba said most the deaf are not assisted accordingly due to poor communication which comes as a result of service providers failing to understand sign language.

Nelson Sayamba, a member of the district forum who is deaf, said there were many challenges he meets in public institutions because of lack of trained people in sign language.

To communicate with people, I need someone to interpret and if there is no one, it becomes difficult for me especially at the hospital, he said.

Speaking on behalf of the District Health Officer (DHO), Andrew Chamdula, said in the health sector, they have put measures that will ensure that people living with disabilities are assisted accordingly.

We have put measures to ensure that they are helped within minimum time and with special considerations. We shall also consider having an officer who could communicate with the deaf using sign language, Chamdula said.

Thyolo has only three special needs teachers, who help the disabled children in schools across the district.

Source: Malawi News Agency MANA