KSLIA’s Position Paper: - Development of Sign Language Interpreting Profession in Kenya.


 August 25, 2007

Abstract

It is the position of the Kenyan Sign Language Interpreters Association (KSLIA) that the
provision of quality and professional interpretation services is a right to all Deaf Kenyan
community. Interpreters – trained, untrained, freelance and employed or working in
various settings throughout Kenya are leaders in delivering a very important service of
interpretation in professional and community settings, including advocating for funding,
and inclusion of these services in programs, projects and policy initiatives at local,
regional, national and international levels. In addition, all interpreters as members of
KSLIA are leaders in facilitating and participating in research, training and
documentation the field of interpretation profession in Kenya. The Kenyan Deaf
community believes that it is a linguistic minority; their native language is Kenyan Sign
Language (KSL) with several variations across the country. They view themselves as
visual people, with their own visual language (KSL), social organization, history, and
mores. They believe they have their own way of being, their own language and culture.
Interpretation is the processes facilitated by bi lingual individuals (interpreters) to enable
this community communicate effectively, accurately and comprehensively with the other
linguistic groups in Kenya. In an era of increased opportunities for Deaf Kenyans to be
involved in various professional, social and academic engagements, there is increased
demand for the deployment of qualified and professional interpreters in fulfillment of the
PWD Act 2003. Through the involvement and rigorous engagement of KSLIA in
research, curriculum development, training, testing, certification and continuing
education Kenya will be a beacon of interpretation excellence in this region and leading
the way in empowering the Deaf community by giving equal access to information,
education and communication for persons who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing.
Position Statement
It is the position of the Kenyan Sign Language Interpreters Association (KSLIA) that the
provision of quality and professional interpretation services is a right to all Deaf Kenyan
community. Interpreters – trained, untrained, freelance and employed or working in
various settings throughout Kenya are leaders in delivering a very important service of
interpretation in professional and community settings, including advocating for funding,
and inclusion of these services in programs, projects and policy initiatives at local,
regional, national and international levels. In addition, all interpreters as members of
KSLIA are leaders in facilitating and participating in research, training and
documentation the field of interpretation profession in Kenya. KSLIA considers it vitally
important that this information be disseminated to all Interpreters, Deaf Leaders, Sign
Language Trainers, and Teachers of the Deaf, Government and its Agencies, NGOs
working with and for the Deaf in Kenya. It is understood that the strategies and training
model outlined in this paper are starting points based on our current understanding of
Interpretation. As the knowledge base and experience in addressing Interpretation
evolves, future modifications and refinements of the current strategies will necessarily be
required.


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