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LSR interpreters

When hands become eyes and ears

Between September 14th and September 17th, we organized a face-to-face training session in Predeal with experienced Romanian Sign Language interpreters. Over the course of four days, we explored elements related to communication methods for individuals with deafblindness, orientation and mobility aspects, as well as practical recommendations for interpreting for individuals with deafblindness.
This session is part of the Deafblindness Initiation Course for Romanian Sign Language interpreters, which runs from September 4th to October 16th, 2023, as part of the project the Voice of People with Deafblindness in Romania.

Communication, Orientation, Mobility

The theme of the first day of the course was communication for people with deafblindness. Together with the participants, we discussed communication systems based on sign language, communication systems based on verbal language (such as Block alphabets, Braille, Moon), as well as hand configuration-based alphabets and location-based alphabets.

Participants took on the challenge of role-playing various life situations. In a doctor's office, at the Disability Evaluation Commission, or at the Civil Registry, interpreters acted as the eyes and ears of individuals with deafblindness, providing support and gaining a better understanding of the challenges they face in their daily lives.

In the following day we focused on recommendations regarding the quality of interpretation for individuals with deafblindness, considering the physical context and interpretation organization. Interpreters shared their valuable experiences, and we discussed elements related to the interpreter's appearance, the communication environment, and interpreting in a team.

The second part of the day, dedicated to orientation and mobility, brought a new challenge. Blindfolded, with reduced hearing, and using the white-red cane, the symbol of deafblindness, interpreters were guided on a short route to experience the world from the perspective of a person with this double disability. After the exercise, they shared their emotions with us, transitioning from fear and uncertainty to confidence, curiosity, and courage.

"Together, we can bring light into the lives of people with deafblindness"

After spending several days learning from each other and building connections, we concluded the course with many ideas about what we can do together to support people with deafblindness and the desire to continue this journey together. We thank all the participants for their presence and involvement!

"The presence of so many people gathered together, the connections we've made, are a valuable treasure to me. So little is known about deafblindness; only together can we change mindsets and bring light into the lives of people with deafblindness!

The role of an interpreter for individuals with deafblindness is extremely demanding and not easy for an LSR interpreter. Being an LSR interpreter is the joy of my life, being an interpreter for individuals with deafblindness is the challenge of my life! Thank you for everything I received in this course, and I eagerly wait what comes next!" - Angela M.

"I am overjoyed by the unique opportunity you gave me! Here, I have learned many important and useful things. During an exercise, I realized that I can once again enjoy small things, such as applauding in my hands for an accomplishment. But there are so many challenges beyond our daily lives! Thank you for welcoming me into your family! I sincerely hope that this beginning has no end!" - Mihaela D.

"I greatly appreciate the effort and willingness of the trainers to provide me with valuable information about people with deafblindness. I realise that I am richer emotionally and intellectually because I have borrowed from the experiences of the group, mature and experienced people. I am confident that the information will be useful in my work." - Diana S.

The Voice of people with Deafblindness in Romania is implemented by the Foundation Sense International Romania in partnership with Sense International UK, with the financial support of Active Citizens Fund Romania, programme funded by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway through the EEA Grants Grants 2014 -2021. The content of this materiale does not necessarily reflect the official position of the EEA and Norway Grants 2014-2021; for more information visit www.eeagrants.org. More details about Active Citizens Fund Romania are available at www.activecitizensfund.ro.

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