Sign Language Interpreters in Kenya: A Brief Overview
Jack Owiti & Wanjiku Gilchrist
Kenyan Sign Language Interpreters Association
There is a growing number of sign language interpreters in Kenya working with the Deaf
Community but none have received suitable training in the profession as there is no
formal training for sign language interpreters available in Kenya. We will discuss the
interpreter's status & role in Kenya's Deaf community from different perspectives, based
on the model of interpreters i.e. helper, conduit, communication facilitor etc. We will
address the needs that may arise for interpreters when receiving training, specially in
the linguistic aspects.
We will have a look at the development of Kenyan Sign Language Interpreters
Association and the history of sign language interpreting & training in Kenya. Our past
experiences will be discussed, the obstacles we faced, the recognition we fought for etc.
We will discuss the language issues the interpreter will face in Kenya: Swahili and
English are used as national languages, with over 30 tribal languages thrown in.