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PUTRAJAYA, Feb 23 -- Women, Family and Community Development Ministry (KPWKM) is in the midst of upgrading the field of sign language interpreters and recognising their importance, starting with the public sector, said its minister Datuk Seri Rina Mohd Harun.
She said as of last year, there were only 95 sign language interpreters registered with the Malaysia Federation of the Deaf (MFD) compared to 40,389 hearing-impaired persons with disabilities (PwD) registered with the Social Welfare Department.
When launching the MySign programme, a Malaysian sign language course on the Social Institute of Malaysia’s (ISM) Facebook page today, Rina said all quarters must avoid the impression that the need to learn sign language was limited to the deaf people and their families.
She also urged all members of the ministry and its agencies to learn at least basic sign language to help them provide better services to PwD.
“Our customers include the hearing- and speech-impaired PwD. Therefore, the sign language knowledge and skills are the additional values that we should possess in order to serve all sections of the society in the country,” she said.
On MySign course, Rina said it was the first virtual course organised by ISM which started today to provide basic training and guidance on using sign language.
A total of 150 participants from the public and private sectors attended the course simultaneously today compared to only 30 to 40 people in physical classes which have been implemented since 2006.
She hoped the participants could become the transformation agents to create a more inclusive environment and society, especially for the hearing-impaired PwD.