Access to Vocational Training Centres by Deaf persons

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The challenge that the project addresses

Breaking barriers to access technical and vocational education by the Deaf person in Namibia by offering sign Language training to interpreters to saturate the need for Sign Language interpreters in vocational training centres and other Training centres of high educational learning.

View news features (and here) on the work being carried out in Namibia.

What is your project doing to respond to this challenge?

The Namibia Training Authority (NTA) avails funds through vocational training levies. This fund is available to those who wish to offer vocational training courses. However, without Sign Language interpreters, there are barriers to accessing training by Deaf aspiring learners after graduating from school. The identified need is to bridge this gap and address the barrier by providing training that will help the Deaf access vocational training. The project now can address these barriers and the Deaf are able to access vocational education. Sign Language Interpreters are trained. Vocational training centres are sensitized to be aware to include Deaf trainees. Families and schools for the Deaf are sensitized about the ongoing project. After school exits, they can register their Deaf aspiring to do vocational courses at the vocational training centres. Once the deaf are accepted for studies, they are then provided with a sign language interpreter assigned to them. The vocational centre can cater for the interpreter remunerating through a grant from the Namibian Training Authority.

Describe the project's impact

Deaf learners are accessing vocational education. sign language interpreters get employment. The schools of the Deaf are able to refer their learners to vocational training after exit exams for further vocational courses. For example, since the inception of the initiative, 17 deaf have registered with Windhoek vocational training centre, and one has successfully attained his trade certificate pending graduation. Sign Language interpreters have been employed to provide services to the centre. Kayec has indicated to enrol 15 Deaf learners from the prevocational courses that are implemented by the Schools for the Deaf. The Namibia Training Authority has been recognized for this initiative and praised for supporting the inclusion of the Deaf in vocational training contributing to the sustainable attainment of the Sustainable Development Goal, inclusive education and UN CRPD’s access to education (articles 9 and 24). Five sign Language interpreters have been employed by the Vocational Training Centre. This number should increase with more centres introducing the same program in each of the 7 vocational training centres across the country. Okakarara and Windhoek have been leading enrollment centres with inclusion focused on the Deaf.

The R20,000 award will be used for more sensitization drives to make sure vocational training centers are aware of the sign language interpreter training that will provide interpretation services to the vocational centers. The centers will be made aware of the following work plan: 1. Identify all contact persons at all Namibian vocational training centers. 2. Share the objective of contact with all of them. 3. Initiate a meeting with them to discuss and do fact finding about their needs on the inclusion of Deaf trainees in their programs/ course. (These meetings can be virtual and a sign Language interpreter can be used to facilitate communication.) 4. Write a findings report on how the TVET can be inclusive of the Deaf to the NTA and present it. The NTA will then be required to make funding provision to the centers and an interpreter can be appointed at those centers. Deaf aspiring will be informed of new enrollment centers that are close to their homes. This will also address the challenge faced by the trainees to find accommodation at his /her own costs.