We need transparent face masks – Sign language interpreters

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Thu, 7 May 2020 Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Sign language interpreters who are in the frontline of informing the deaf community in Ghana about the coronavirus pandemic have revealed that they do not wear face masks because facial communication is an integral part of their job.

According to Love Amissah and Clement Sam, they need transparent face masks so they can protect themselves while doing their jobs.

The two interpreters who are a major part of the information ministry’s media briefing sessions on the coronavirus pandemic stand quite close to speakers in order to clearly hear the message and interpret it for the hearing impaired.

Unlike the speakers, however, Love and Clement never wear face masks during the briefings and this has resulted in concerns over their safety.

But reacting to this, the two said they can’t cover up their faces when interpreting since the hearing impaired also depend on facial gestures and lips movement during communication.

In an interview with GhanaWeb, Love explained that “the deaf people, though they listen with their eyes and we sign with our hands, sometimes some of them lip-read so if they are not getting what you are saying through your hands, they’ll read your lips and they will get the information you’re trying to give them. If we cover our mouth, it’s not possible for them to know what we’re trying to say because sometimes we miss a word.”

They noted they have made requests for transparent masks but are yet to receive some.

“We mentioned it to a company that came there (media briefings) … We showed them a couple of pictures and we sent it to them and they promised to make us transparent masks, up until now we’ve not received them,” Clement stated.

He, however, added that he asked a friend who is into local mask-making to get them some and that should be ready for use soon.

“I’ve given her the dimension so hopefully at the next briefing or the subsequent ones you may see us in something quite strange.”

Source: www.ghanaweb.com
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