More sign language interpreters needed

National 1 minute, 24 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

MORE sign language interpreters are needed to assist hearing impaired children in the country, said Aziz Assan, a sign language interpreter from the National Association of the Deaf.

Speaking to _The Brunei Times _recently, he said there are more than 70 secondary schools in the country and a growing number of primary schools.

“Each school needs a sign language interpreter not just to assist hearing impaired students but also understand them.”

He said the Brunei Darussalam Sign Language Committee (BDSL) is encouraging more teachers to come forward to learn sign language.

The BDSL consist of teachers that have learned and trained in sign language.

He said the BDSL are targeting to have one sign language interpreter for each school and hoped more teachers will come forward to learn sign language.

Aziz said the Super Hearing Impaired-Signing Exact English (Hi-SEE) Teachers, a community known amongst the BDSL, had grown from having 30 to 120 members.

He said the community needs 18 more teachers to become members and learn sign language.

“Sign language isn’t difficult to learn as long as one is patient and is interested in learning.”

Aziz said the sign language gestures are basic actions and can be learned in six months.

“For those who already have basic knowledge, it might take less – about three months.”

The IT teacher at Sayyidina Ali Secondary School in Belait said learning sign language will not only benefit hearing impaired individuals but also to the sign language interpreter.

“You get to bond, understand and have a connection with the hearing impaired individuals.”

“By connecting with them and understanding them, they won’t feel neglected. We want to bring them closer to the community.”

The Brunei Times