Assembly to hire sign language interpreters

Mercy Mwai @wangumarci

Parliament is expected to avail funds to hire sign language interpreters, who will be stationed in various departments.

National Assembly Leader of Majority Aden Duale yesterday told the Labour Committee that the interpreters would be stationed in various committee meetings to interpret proceedings.

“We will ensure there are enough sign language interpreters in Parliament so that our committees engage effectively with witnesses during their sessions,” said Duale, adding that Parliament is ready to avail funds to hospitals, Judiciary and other government institutions to enable them to hire interpreters.

He said it is important to ensure deaf persons are not left out in any public discussions.

Duale made the remarks after he presented before the committee a petition from the Kenya Deaf Community, which wants proper representation in government.

“We will propose to the Parliamentary Service Commission to hire sign interpreters to help interpret during House proceedings and committees.”

In the petition before Parliament, the petitioners want MPs to amend the Persons with Disabilities Act, 2013 to provide for establishment of a special fund to facilitate research in Kenya Sign Language development and training for workers in Health services and Judiciary among others to enable the deaf and the hard-hearing persons to access services with ease.

National Council for Persons with Disabilities (NCPD) chief executive Mohammed Hussein urged the Sports ministry to fund the council so as to support sporting activities among persons living with disabilities.

He said the judicial system lacks satisfactory sign language interpreters to effectively serve the deaf community.

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