Sign Language and Interpreter Training
There is an urgent need to train sign language interpreters as currently there are currently only two professional sign language interpreters working in Lao P.D.R. The 2005 Lao National Census identified 18,790 people as D&HH though the true number is likely to be much higher. Therefore health, legal and education services are unable to provide sign language interpreters and this is a major barrier to social inclusion.
The primary purpose of the project is to break down barriers to inclusion that exist for deaf and hard of hearing people (D&HH). We aim to do this by increasing the number of people who can communicate in sign language as well as increasing the number of trained interpreters in Laos. At the conclusion of the training there will be ten women who can communicate in sign language and three of those women will be qualified sign interpreters. The seven women not selected to do the interpreter training may wish to go on to complete interpreter training at a later stage, further increasing the number of sign interpreters in Laos. The second purpose of the project is to create sustainable livelihood opportunities for women with disabilities. The trained interpreters will be able to charge a fee for providing interpreter services with minimal set up costs and overheads.