MANAD’s call on sign language interpreters remains futile

Blantyre, Malawi National Association of the Deaf (MANAD) has expressed disappointment with institutions not heeding to the call to have sign language interpreters for easy access to information and telecommunication services for the deaf.

Last year in September, MANAD conducted a sensitization workshop for communication stakeholders on the need for telecommunication companies to have sign language interpreters in their respective institutions.

Speaking in an interview with Malawi News Agency on Tuesday, MANAD Information and Advocacy Officer, Gabriel Luzu said since the organisation conducted the workshop, no company has employed a single sign language interpreter despite giving assurance to do so.

Apart from the existing Malawi Broadcasting Corporation which has interpreters during news programmes and St. Pius Catholic Church, no company that attended the workshop has acted on our plea, said Luzu.

We are striving for a society in which the deaf enjoy equal opportunities in as far as communication and customer service is concerned, but up to now we feel left out and missing out on important information that every citizen ought to have, he added.

Luzu, therefore, said MANAD would continue urging various stakeholders to have interpreters in strategic institutions such as Immigration, commercial banks and airports.

Mibawa Television Station Chief Executive Officer, John Nthakomwa who attended the workshop, said plans to employ a sign language interpreter at the institution were at an advanced stage.

We are working tirelessly to comply with MANAD’s request. Right now, we are soliciting funds to employ the interpreter, Nthakomwa said.

Meanwhile, MANAD has embarked on a project to produce a sign language dictionary to enable people have sign language knowledge.

Source: MANA Online