Are you a sign language interpreter, a student of sign language, an ally-advocate of the Deaf community, or just curious about what it takes to be a sign language interpreter? We know you want to improve your skills in sign language interpreting and hopefully build a career as a sign language interpreter.
As part of this year’s celebration of International Day of Sign Languages, the Philippine National Association of Sign Language Interpreters (PNASLI) created an online event just for you. Dubbed, QUARANTERPS RISE UP Sign Language Interpreters e-Conference and Workshop 2020, this activity
is centered not just on skills but on the core fundamentals of being a sign language interpreter.
The event will be held on September 23-25, via Facebook Group and September 26 via ZOOM. It will happen right at the comfort of your own homes. It is timely also that during this time we also celebrate the International Week of the Deaf.
Topics to be presented in the 4-day e-conference together with their respective facilitators are as follows,
Day 1 – September 23 (Wednesday)
Developing Signs for COVID-19 Terms – Yvette Apurado
Knowing Filipino Sign Language Law – Dr. Liza Martinez
Discoring the History of Sign Interpreting in the Philippines – Febe Sevilla
Profiling Filipino Sign Language Interpreters – John Xandre Baliza
Deaf Relay Interpreters – Marites Raquel Corpuz
Day 2 – September 24 (Thursday)
Interpreter’s Role Shifting Skills – Jeffery Bowden
Message Analysis Skills – Bayani Generoso
Voice Interpreting Skills – Nick Templo-Perez
Signed Song Performance Skills – Ace Dela Pena
Day 3 – September 25 (Friday)
Seeking Out Interpreter Mentors – Mike McMillion
Examining Interpreter’s Work with Authenticity – William F. Ross III
Understanding the Language of the Church vis-a-vis the Language of the Deaf – Michael Jose Autencio
Above Anxiety: Coping in the New Normal – Elmer Mores
Day 4 – September 26 (Saturday)
Role Shifting Skills – Jeff Bowden
Self-Monitoring Skills – Bayani Generoso
Making Ethical Interpreter Decisions – Naty Natividad
News Interpreting Skills – Junjun Sevilla
Signed Song Interpretation Skills – Ace Dela Pena
Although the e-conference is a paid event, you may click HERE to join for the FREE PASS via Facebook Group and via Zoom only on September 26. However, Here is the Rise Up Plan for the investment fee.
You may send your investment fee through these options:
OPTION 1: BANK
Deposit the amount to:
BPI Family Savings Bank Savings Account Name: Philippine National Association of Sign Language Interpreters, Inc. Savings Account Number 5273-3516-73
“Well, I’m not!As long as I’m not riding on the vehicle that he is driving.”
That was the response of a participant in one of the Deaf Sensitivity Training which I conducted many times. I asked the trainees that question before showing them a couple of images that I boast as “success stories of deaf drivers” who made ingenious innovations in order to communicate with their passengers, as shown below.
Still, the participant’s reaction is not uncommon. In fact, according to Axleaddict.com, around 30 countries worldwide don’t allow deaf people to acquire a driver’s license. Although the Philippines was listed among those who permit deaf drivers, that is not the case among most of them who applies for a license. I have assisted a handful of deaf people in applying for a license either as their sign language interpreter or accompanying them when I applied for mine. Most of the time, they are turned down. The main reason? They cannot hear. This is a huge hurdle for them.
One of the five conditions that must be met is that a person who has a hearing problem must be “WITH HEARING AID”. Since the majority of deaf people I know are either not comfortable wearing hearing aids or using them is useless because they are already severe or profoundly deaf (people who can only understand sounds through vibrations), they won’t qualify for this. One of the procedures that they must undergo first is a medical examination which just basically checks their eyesight and hearing capabilities. They would automatically fail on this.
Still, quite a few deaf I know, especially in the provinces, were able to overcome this hurdle by applying “under the table” so to speak. But this path is costly, illegal and often dangerous to the license holders because they are always extremely cautious about not getting caught. Otherwise, their license could either be revoked and not be returned or the police officers would give them a very hard time by giving them numerous violations. This has been a huge issue among the deaf community which they have been addressing for many years yet remained unresolved. Until now…
Introducing, ALYANSA NG MAY KAPANSANAN NA NAGMAMANEHO NG SASAKYAN AT MOTOR SA PILIPINAS or ALKASAMOPI for short! Let me translate their Filipino name into English, hopefully, I am right. It’s ALLIANCE OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES WHO DRIVE MOTOR VEHICLES IN THE PHILIPPINES. According to their Facebook Page, ALKASAMOPI
… is a Non Government Organization whose MISSION and VISION is to promote the camaraderie, brotherhood and equal rights & opportunities among individual Person With Disabilities (PWDs) especially PWD Driver & Riders ( commuters)
One of our objective is to integrate the Persons with Disability (PWD) to the mainstream of society by promoting safety driving and riding to assist them to exercise their rights and privileges and most of all to promote the equal rights and opportunities for the service of transportation.
Its founding president is Joseph Delgado. As per their SEC Registration, its principles are
We are encouraged, empowered and have the full participation of Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) Riders and Drivers to have a Non Professional Driver’s License and have a knowledge of Road Safety as a road users.
*We are passionate, innovative and fearless in the promotion and defense of the right and interest of Persons with Disability.
*We are accessible and responsive to our community needs in terms of accessible transportation and accessible facilities.
*We are collaborative and supportive in our relationship with the disability rights movement as a whole.
They accept all sectors with a disability who are either current holders of driver’s licenses or driving a motorized vehicle. But since many of their members are deaf, they formed a separate group for the deaf community riders with which our blog will focus. Its deaf group has its own set of Officers and the Board of Directors. Their president is Christopher Frando.
I have met most of them. But I have personal acquaintances with Michael Boholst (PRO), Daryl Desamparado, Daryl Pineda and Bryann Gregorio (Board of Directors). All of them are alumni of MCCID College and my former students. Most of them also attend the Deaf Ministry of Capitol City Baptist Church where I do sign language interpreting.
As enumerated in their brochure, ALKASAMOPI provides
PWD Awareness Sensitivity Seminar “How to Properly Approach and Handle a PWD”
Brigada Eskwela (assisting in the opening of school classrooms)
Giving free assessment for mobility devices
Giving free assessment for LTO concerns
Giving road safety seminar for PWD and Non-PWDs
Giving free safety driving and riding seminar
Fighting and defending PWD rights
I own a Suzuki Sky Drive 175 since 2014. I don’t often use it because my work is inside the school campus. So I let our deaf school utility Owen Domagtoy use the motorcycle to run some errands. However, he does not have a license. After helping him acquire his “student permit”, the next hurdle is for him to get his driver’s license. It would be very difficult for him to acquire it because he will need to go to a series of tests. Fortunately, ALKASAMOPI assisted him by giving him pointers and assigned a sign language interpreter during the test. Now, he is not worried about driving around because he already has a license.
Aside from helping other PWDs, the group participated in assisting commuters during this COVID-19 Pandemic lockdown. Below is the YouTube video they uploaded last April which ends with a prayer signed by their Deaf President Christopher Frando.
We understand that acquiring a license to drive is a privilege and not a right. But we also support equal opportunity for everyone, including those with disabilities. If a hearing person can avail of a privilege to use the road, with the latest technologies and an open mind from everyone, a deaf and hard-of-hearing person can also avail of that.
Mabuhay po ang ALKASAMOPI sa pagtulong sa mga Pilipinong Bingi na matupad ang kanilang pangarap na malayang makapag-byahe gamit ang kanilang mga sasakyang de-motor!
Today, we celebrate “International Mother Language Day”. Held every 21st day of February as approved at the 1999 General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), it was born out of the initiative of Bangladesh and has been observed worldwide since 2000.
UNESCO commemorates this day to the belief that,
in the importance of cultural and linguistic diversity for sustainable societies. It is within its mandate for peace that it works to preserve the differences in cultures and languages that foster tolerance and respect for others. [link]
This recognition centers on the observation that native languages are increasingly threatened as more and more languages disappear. Dominant languages have been emphasized excessively that modern kids were discouraged in schools to use the language they use at home. Aside from that, books and other written materials using their mother language were scarce and readily unavailable. Nevertheless, progress is being made in mother tongue-based multilingual education with a growing understanding of its importance, particularly in early schooling, and more commitment to its development in public life.
But what about those who are deprived of language acquisition? What about those who were not able to access their “mother language” the moment they were born? How do we address those vulnerable sectors, most especially those who are deaf and hard-of-hearing?
What is Language Deprivation?
Language deprivation means, exactly, a language that is taken away from people. According to Therapy Travellers Website, Language deprivation is
the term used for when a child does not have access to a naturally occurring language during their critical language-learning years. [link]
Deaf children are the most affected because they are not exposed to a language that would develop their cognitive growth. A deaf baby has not received any language exposure during the critical period between ages 0 to 2.
The hearing parent can readily communicate with his baby what he needs because they both have access to sounds and speech. A baby with no hearing impairment would easily acquire speech and language. Studies show that the brain forms more than one million new neural connections every second from age 0 to 5. This means that they can accumulate emotional and physical health, social skills, and cognitive-linguistic capacities that emerge in the early years. [link]
Now compare that with a deaf baby interacting with his parents. Since a deaf baby does not hear her parents, he does not understand what they mean. He cannot associate any actions to the words or phrases that come out of their parents’ mouths because nothing enters his ears. No matter what the baby utters, the parent cannot seem to understand him. Does he need to pee? Is he hungry? Does he want to go out? Is he sick? Does he want to play? Situations like this often lead to frustrations, irritations, and tantrums. Eventually, this leads to ignoring the baby’s needs and thus stunt his overall emotional and intellectual growth.
That is language deprivation.
Worldwide, over 5% has disabling hearing loss, roughly 466 million people. 90% of deaf children are born with hearing parents. This means that their parents are not familiar with or even aware of how to deal with having a deaf child. So, their tendency is to just give the deaf kid what they perceived he wants without affirmation that it was really what he wants. Worse, the parents would just let them be and do their own thing. Problems in the delay in language development would appear when they are already in school, work, communicating with others, and even self-confidence.
Baby Sign Language
Research has shown that early exposure to a first language will predict future language outcomes. The earlier he can acquire a language, the better he can succeed. And since a deaf baby can learn a language using his eyes, he should be exposed to sign language at the earliest possible time. Because signed languages are the only languages that are 100% accessible to a deaf child, we can be sure that the child’s brain is receiving language input.
Deaf children who do not learn to sign until later in life are more likely to process signed languages not as linguistic input, but as visual input, contrasting with children exposed from birth, who process signed language in the same region of the brain in which hearing people process spoken language. Scientists suggest that the best guarantee of good language outcomes for Deaf children is to establish Sign Language as a secure first language before a cochlear implant program (CIP) is considered.[link]
MANILA, Philippines — Popular Philippine actress Maine Mendoza has cleared a common misconception that deaf people have no voice.
In her Twitter account, the “Eat Bulaga” host reposted an infographic about deaf people.
“YES YES! Let me just clear this common misconception about deaf people. DEAF PEOPLE HAVE VOICES; but many prefer to sign (using FSL: Filipino Sign Langauge) because it is their first language and their right. Therefore, the term Deaf-Mute is not right dahil HINDI PO SILA PIPI, (because they are not mute)” Maine wrote.
Maine stars as a sign language student in the upcoming film “Isa Pa With Feelings” with Kapamilya actor Carlo Aquino, who plays a deaf character.