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MENAFN - Arab News - 12/01/2014
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(MENAFN - Arab News) The Saudi Association for Hearing Impairment has launched the first Saudi Sign Language Dictionary on occasion of the first anniversary of establishing a center for sign language translation and training

The center was opened upon the directives of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah

This directive includes all the association's branches and has received considerable support from the Ministry of Social Affairs, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Higher Education, the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Finance

Ali Al-Hazzani, the chairman of the association's Board of Directors, declared that the association has met the goals of the royal decree within one year

The dictionary consists of an alphanumerical reference dictionary of more than 2,700 sign words and original phrases, making it one of the largest Arabic sign dictionaries to date. In addition, it includes a manual dictionary that includes the alphabet, numbers, more than 750 sign words and native phrases that are most commonly used and a children's dictionary of about 400 sign words and genuine phrases oriented for children in the learning phase

He explained that these dictionaries will be released in several forms, including printed paper copies, digital copies to be circulated on international Internet sites, copies to be publicly traded, mini-digital copies for smart phones and an interactive, flexible and smart copy for education and training purposes

The association contracted with the Al-Esnad Consulting Educational and Training Center to carry out their joint venture project, which involve "advisory, training, rehabilitative, and educational services." These services will come at no cost to the association

The project aims to carry out field studies, research and consultancies in the field of hearing disability, as well as develop a training and rehabilitation environment that is suitable for individuals with hearing disabilities, Al-Hazzani said

He said that the project aims to implement the development of a training plan for the development and rehabilitation of people with hearing disabilities and their parents, as well as those working in the field, such as education specialists, sign language interpreters, and teachers with hearing disabilities

The plan includes more than 50 training and rehabilitation packages based on its work on the Saudi Sign Language Dictionary, he said. So far, 11 packages have been approved and are being further designed

Al-Hazzani also pointed out that work is now underway to establish multiple levels of professional certifications in sign language translation, training of people with hearing disabilities, therapeutic and evaluation support for the deaf and education of specialized skills such as pronunciation and lip reading

He also revealed that a contract was signed with the "Arabic Program for All" organization, which is dedicated to teaching Arabic to non-native speakers

Consultants with the organization will be contracted to take advantage of their experience in teaching Arabic to foreigners who do not recognize the Arabic language and to contribute in the training of people with hearing disabilities with functional skills and advanced use of the language


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