Sign language training to help deaf in Samoa.

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SIGN LANGUAGE: Teachers, students and members of the community taking part in the sign language training.

SIGN LANGUAGE: Teachers, students and members of the community taking part in the sign language training.

SENESE and partners empowered teachers to assist children who are deaf in schools.

This week, SENESE Inclusive Support Services, the Ministry of Education Sports and Culture, and Loto Taumafai joined forces to upskill teachers on sign language through a three-day training hosted at Ah Mu Academy.

Fourty teachers, parents, and caregivers of children who are deaf and hearing impaired participated in this training.

The training is to assist teachers to learn basic sign language, so that they can better relate and communicate to children with hearing impairment in their schools and class.

It is also an opportunity for participants to be introduced to the Samoan sign language dictionary which is an initiative that is currently under review by the Ministry of Education Sports and Culture and will be launched sometime soon.

Co-facilitating the training with SENESE’S deaf services coordinator, To’oala Faleupolu Tupuola, were Tuaia Foliga, Special Needs Services Coordinator for the Ministry of Education Sports and Culture, and Vaiana Otto, the Language Specialist for Loto Taumafai.

SENESE supports children with hearing impairment who are enrolled in regular early childhood centres, primary and secondary schools through the provision of hearing aids, and teacher’s aid who can interpret in sign language to allow for easy communication between the teacher and student.

Close to a 100 children are considered to have a hearing impairment, including children who are profoundly deaf and use cochlear implants or sign language, children who use hearing aids, and children who are being monitored for hearing loss.

Giving regular teachers and parents the basic knowledge of sign language will contribute to the process of inclusion for children who are deaf and hearing impaired in to not only schools, but their families and communities as well.

SENESE works in collaboration with the Ministry of Education Sports and Culture to ensure that children with hearing impairment and who are deaf are fully included in the school system.

© Samoa Observer 2016

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