HCD conducts exam for sign language accreditation

Jordanians take the HCD exam for sign language accreditation on August 7, 2021. (Photos: Handouts from HCD)
Jordanians take the HCD exam for sign language accreditation on August 7, 2021. (Photos: Handouts from HCD)
The Higher Council for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (HCD) held an exam for the accreditation of sign language translators on Saturday.اضافة اعلان

Those who pass the exam will obtain a certified sign language translation certificate.

Jordanians take the HCD exam for sign language accreditation on August 7, 2021. (Photos: Handouts from HCD)

Ghadeer Al Hares, assistant secretary general for technical affairs at HCD, said in a phone interview with Jordan News that 25 applicants sat for the exam — five males and twenty females — with varied educational levels.

“First launched in 2010, the exam takes place annually to advance and improve the quality of sign language translation, especially in vital sectors like translation at courts, universities, and hospitals, as well as translation to doctors or deaf students in different educational institutions,” Hares added.

Hares emphasized that the exam also aims at promoting the rights of persons with hearing disabilities to effective communication and efficient translation.

“Similar to spoken language translation, sign language translation observes a set of criteria such as translation quality and precision to convey the meaning of sign language words accurately,” explained Hares.

Hares said that a committee chaired by a deaf person and composed of four deaf people and four experts in sign language translation will assess the performers.

According to Hares, the exam consists of two parts, theoretical and practical. The theoretical part aims at evaluating the applicants’ skills in sign language translation and measuring their general knowledge in different areas including the culture of deaf people, the Law on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the ethics of the sign language translation profession, and the professional guide for sign language translators.

On the other hand, the practical part comprises translation from sign language to spoken language and vice versa, translation from sign language to written language, interpretation of several social topics, as well as general dialogue in which the applicants are asked to introduce themselves using sign language.

Hares said that applicants should be holders of a general secondary education certificate or its equivalent, be at least 18 years old, have passed the third level of sign language training or received 120 training hours, and have had a minimum of two years’ experience in sign language communication.

“Sign language is like any other language, either you use it or you lose it. That is why we require applicants to have experience,” added Hares.

Hares noted that no experience is required if the applicant has one or more deaf first degree relatives.

Hares said that the applicant should pass both parts, theoretical and practical, in order to obtain the certificate and be accredited.

“The results for the practical exam are calculated according to the models developed for this purpose,” she said. “The mean score of the models is then calculated for each applicant.”

“Clarity of meaning, facial expressions, and body language, are some factors to be considered in the assessment of the applicants,” Hares added.

Hares said that within two weeks of the examination date, the results will be announced with the names of those who passed the exam in both parts on the website and on the council's social media accounts.

Marwa Al-Gezawi, one of the applicants, told Jordan News that the main reason why she took the exam was to help deaf people in Jordan.

“My father is deaf, so I have used sign language since I was a child,” Gezawi added.

“The exam went smoothly, I am 80 percent sure that I will pass,” she said. “If so, I am planning to apply for jobs in government departments and public and private institutions.”

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