Friday, 24 August 2007

cold war btw KSLIA and Deaf Aid (jean dickhead)

Jack the KSLIA Chair wrote:-

Dear All,

I would like to inform you all that due to pressure at my work place and priorities here and there, I am unable to represent KSLIA at the workshop. I would like to commend my colleagues Leonida and Vickie for stepping in on such short notice. I believe that both bring to the table over 25 years experience in Interpreting in Kenya. They both have done all sorts of Interpreting in hospitals, TV, conferences, courts, police, school, meetings, law, etc etc

I would like to bring your attention to the fact that these are landmark and key milestones in our country that should be given the at most care if we do the wrong thing we will be stuck with a curriculum that is not implementable and a waste of valuable resources we could have channeled to other useful venture.

World Association of Sign Language Interpreters (WASLI) reiterated in the just concluded conference that Interpreter Training programs should be developed carefully involving the Deaf Users, Hearing organizations using Interpreters, relevant governement ministries and agencies, Deaf Associations and INTERPRETERS - TRAINED, UNTRAINED, CERTIFIED OR NOT.

WASLI also acknowledged that there are NO PERFECT INTERPRETER TRAINING PROGRAMS ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD. Training programs develop over time, as history has taught us this is often a long expensive process regardless of where it is taking place. We see this in the development of other professions like teaching, law, business....This profession is no different.

I would like to go into details of this BUT I will wait and receive the conclusion of this process, my one and only caution is we have a lifetime to live here in Kenya, to serve the Deaf community and create greater access to Deaf Kenyans. We cannot therefore be held ransom by time, resources or other priority like donor deadlines or reports to took KIE over 20 years to recognize KSL as a medium for instructions why should we want to accept and develop a curriculum for interpreting in 10 days? Interpreting is as important as Deaf Education and training of Doctors, lawyers, teachers we need to take our time and not rush to fill in schedules and report numbers and meet program objectives. Curriculum development needs to be based on gaps, needs identified, comparison of what is currently available and mistakes in the past. I am SHOCKED and DISMAYED that the KNAD - Kenyan National Association of the Deaf are NOT REPRESENTED IN THIS PROCESS.

KSLIA will continue to advocate for the inclusion of Interpreters and Deaf people in the development of trainings for interpreters and to comply with international standards as stipulated by WASLI and WFD where KSLIA has recently become a member. KSLIA therefore would support initiatives that will bring out the best for all - the Deaf Individuals, the Interpreters and the rest of the hearing community.

KSLIA will be represented in this forum and would like to get greater involvement in future forums as the stakeholders, custodians and owners of this profession. Interpreters have a role to be the drivers of this process - as an Interpreter and a User of Kenyan Sign Language I would like to be in the driving seat of this process - with due respect to professional curriculum developers at KIE or MOE I believe that only the people practicing in the profession (Interpreters) and consumers of the services(Deaf Kenyans and organizations working with the Deaf) are best placed to contribute to the development and implementation process of this sort of curriculum.

I hope that my comments do not deter your determination and good will - Deaf Kenyans need more than benevolence - Deaf Kenyans need empowerment, inclusion, accessibility to information and respect of their human rights which includes the availability of trained, professional and affordable Interpretation services. For Interpreters in Kenya,

Jack Owiti
KSLIA Chairman


The Reply.....Jean-Claude Adzalla wrote:

Dear Jack,

I do not have the habit to get involved in this email exchanges because I believe that serious stakeholders raise issues in a more appropriate forum.

This kind of public posting is a tool for lobby in order to create momentum around ones opinion that could be facing resistance. That said Jack, there is a lot of contradiction between your present mail and the previous ones. I will just like to mention two: In your email below to Kevin Warnke from Deaf Aid, you mentioned: "I would love to participate in this, 10 days is a long time to sit and write a curriculum in the short run".

Today you said "it took KIE over 20 years to recognize KSL as a medium for instructions why should we want to accept and develop a curriculum for interpreting in 10 days?"

Curriculum development is a technical process that the KRITD Project is ONLY facilitating, answering an outcry from leaders from the deaf community. I can remember Wango, the Director of KNAD emphasizing at the latest Deaf Aid advisory board on the need to fasten the KRITD process as defined in the "White Paper".

Have I mentioned that curriculum development is an important milestone of this process?

You also suggested that you were "SHOCKED and DISMAYED that the KNAD- Kenyan National Association of the Deaf are NOT REPRESENTED IN THIS PROCESS." Washington Akaranga from the Kenya Sign Language Project, the branch of KNAD in charge of sign language research and development is attending the workshop that opened yesterday.

In Kenya, only the Kenya Institute of Education is empowered to develop curriculum and they do have their rules concerning number of attendants, logistics and workplan.

The KRITD is only funding this process. I can recall a discussion I had with Dr Burch where he was suggesting that developing a curriculum in Kenya should not be a difficult task and there is no need to reinvent the wheel. WASLI had developed an international standard that could be used as guidance to expedite the process he further mentioned.

Projects, be it donor funded or not respond to the same constraints of limited resources and time frame. This one should not be an exception.

To conclude, I would like to say that time has come to chose who we want to be, the kind of impact we want to make, to be recognized and respected stakeholders or to be mere polemist.

Stakeholders discuss issues and in a progressive way and find together avenues to solve problems.

These clarifications were important to me and it will not be necessary to mention that I will not respond to any further public email.

Deaf Aid has identified KSLIA as an important stakeholder and has involved your organization in many activities we are conducting.

One thing is to always victimize oneself crying for more involvement. Maybe theright thing to do could be to attend the various meeting you have been invited to and or appoint in a due time, instead of a last minute phone call, representatives of KSLIA to be there to represent your organization.