Sign language training concluded

A 12-week training in sign language has concluded with over 20 participants receiving certificates at the Nuanua ole Alofa (N.O.L.A.) conference room on Wednesday night.

The specialist training was run by the N.O.L.A. and funded by the Australian government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (D.F.A.T.) in partnership with the Samoa Disability Partnership Program under the auspices of the Ministry of Women Community and Social Development.

N.O.L.A. Project Officer, Maselina Tauaitu Iuta, told the Samoa Observer in sign language that one of the benefits of the 12-weeks long training is the exchange of languages, support the hearing community to translate voice into sign language, and assist people who are deaf understand different levels.

“With this training is just the basics but we need to make sure that we go to the next step and hopefully we get more funding to support it,” said Maselina.

“Some of our people understand gestures only but not the established sign language.”

The certificate that the participants received is to confirm their participation and being recipients of basic sign language training.

Maselina said the next level of the training should look at how carefully their organisations such as N.O.L.A. work in partnerships with training monitoring agencies such as the Samoa Qualifications Authority.

“We decided to go ahead with this program because we are people who are deaf and we wanted to develop our language in Samoa, because at the moment we use sign language from Australia and New Zealand,” she said.

The sign language interview with the Samoa Observer was interpreted by Noue Ma’evaga. 

Thanks to the funding support of the Australian D.F.A.T. in partnership with the Ministry of Women Community and Social Development, Maselina added that their 12-week training was made possible.

The specialist training was opened to people with disabilities of different groups: intellectual disability, physical disability, people who are death and also people with vision impaired. 

There were over 20 participants in the 12-week training and included representatives from the United Nations, Women in Business, Samoa Family Health and different members of the  N.O.L.A.  subgroups.

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