It is my pleasure to endorse this sign language campaign of my fellow deaf American friend’s husband, Badr Alomary and his team. Let’s help make their efforts a success for deaf Saudis! Please spread this initiative far and wide. May Allah bless and guide us all ameen. JazakumAllahu khair. Tara Umm Omar
Please support the “Integrating a Million People through Sign Language” Project! As of today, Saudi Sign Language is not officially recognized. The lack of sign language awareness means that there are teachers for the deaf who do not know sign language, very few fluent sign language interpreters, lack of access in the public sphere (such as hospitals and public events), and lack of promotion opportunities in the workforce since there is no access to training workshops that are often required for promotions. Basically, Deaf Saudis are left out. In addition, many deaf people cannot even communicate with their families, co-workers or public officials.
Bader Alomary and his team have worked on collecting videos of signs, preserving sign language folklore, and are working toward publishing the Saudi Sign Language dictionary. This project was submitted to the King Khalid Foundation competition for a societal development award. The King Khalid Foundation is a charitable organization dedicated to providing support to research and community development. The organization also recognizes Saudi citizens who have contributed to their community. “Integrating a Million People through Sign Language” project has been chosen as one of the finalists for the societal development award, which includes a reward of 500,000 SR. The award will enable the project to move on a much faster scale, and aid in the creation of more projects in addition to the publishing of the dictionary (such as a sign language teaching curriculum, developing a fluency criteria for sign language interpreters for the purpose of certification, educating public services institutes such as hospitals on sign language and deafness and so on). Here is a brief video of Bader Alomary and Ahmed Alfiheed describing the project: http://youtu.be/xoZ8L1FPAQY.
“Nothing is more central to the culture and dearer to the hearts of Deaf people than their language.” (Lane, Hoffmeister & Bahan)
Please support this project and vote at http://www.kkf.org.sa/kka! (the website is in Arabic).
Instructions for English readers:
To vote for Bader Alomary and the “Integrating a Million People through Sign Language,” please go to http://www.kkf.org.sa/kka and click on the button below Bader Alomary’s picture (the far right picture of the man with red and white headdress). A new window will open and you will be asked (in Arabic) to enter your email address. Don’t worry if it doesn’t seem to type in “correctly” (Arabic is written from right to left). Just type in your full email address (no spaces) and press enter on your keyboard. Submitting your email just makes sure that you don’t vote more than once. You will receive an email from KKF. Open the email, and click on the blue link. It will open to a KKF webpage, and this page will thank you for casting your vote. That’s it! You can always use Google translate if you want.
Voting ends Friday, 15 November 2013.
Thank you so much for your support!!!