Sign language empowers people with hearing loss to play a greater role in human society.
“WE, the Myanmar Deaf Society, are now conducting basic sign language (SL) training for hearing-impaired persons free of charge in Mandalay,” said Daw Yadana Aung of the MDS.
The MDS has offered the 20-hour SL course at the Mandalay Community Centre since October 12 with the aim of turning out more SL users, with plans to open short SL courses across the country in the coming years, she added.
Apart from weekends, the training course runs from 5:30pm to 6:30pm daily. The MDS accepts 25 trainees per course.
Trainer Daw Yadana Aung said those who want to attend the course must have both hands to learn SL.
The Myanmar Deaf Society was established on 26 June this year to promote the participatory role of the deaf in human society. Since then, the society has opened capacity building trainings for the deaf and offers sign language interpretation services.
The MDS’s future tasks include surveys and research on deaf culture and sign language, the compilation and release of books, papers, DVDs, disseminating information online and opening SL trainers’ courses, vocational courses, sports competitions and exhibitions.
In addition, the MDS has plans to establish vocational workshops and training schools for the deaf, sign language training schools, deaf resource centres and sign language channels, Daw Yadana Aung said.
According to the 2014 nationwide census, 4.6 percent of the country’s total population of over 51 million people are people with disabilities, 1.3 percent of whom are deaf.