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Pakistan Sign Language (PSL) Certificate Distribution and Awareness Raising ceremony

Date: Wednesday, March 23, 2011,

Time: 03:00pm to 05:00pm

Venue: PIQC Conference Room, Karachi


Program Detail

time description
03:00-00:05 Recitation from the Holy Quran by Ms.Sadia Sohail
03:05-03:30 Introduction of UN CRPD, New Asia Pacific Decade, and clasues of UN-CRPD that address Sign Language by Mr. Muhammad Akram
03:30-04:00 Video display of Danishkadah story
04:00-04:10 Introduction of Sign Language Course, and Interpreting by Mr. Aqeelur Rehman Hameed
04:15-04:30 "Learning at Danishkadah" students' comments
04:30-04:50 Guests speech
  • Ms. Sidra Hussain, GM - PIQC
  • Dr. Shahnawaz, Disability In-charge - CHEF
  • Mr. Imranulla Shariff, Director - PIQC
04:50-04:55 Certificates Distribution
04:55-05:00 Vote of thanks

Program's Report

Danishkadah is actively promoting Pakistan Sign Language (PSL). Last year our advocacy brought a good result when Pakistan International Airline (PIA) started showing their flight safety video with Sign Language Interpretation. We also aware lack of trained interpreters so we started PSL course, and recently a batch of 10 students completed Pakistan Sign Language Course from Danishkadah. So Danishkadah organize a certificate distribution ceremony for them, and took the opportunity to raise awareness about United Nation Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD) and the new Asia-Pacific Decade (2013 - 2022). As we believe that these students and the other members will play an important role in implementation of UN CRPD, awareness and understanding the convention is very important for all of us.

Program started with recitation of Holly Quran by Miss. Sadia Sohail one of the PSL course students. Then Founder President of Danishkadah gave a presentation in which he gave brief information about UN CRPD, and recently announced new Asia-Pacific decade.

He said that policies are nothing unless we understand and assure the implementation. Now government of Pakistan announced the ratification of convention, and the United Nation Economic and Social Commission for Asia and Pacific announced a new decade (2013 - 2022) to push the implementation of the convention, to "Make the Right Real". He hoped that in this decade we all together can bring huge positive change, and Pakistan will be a better place to live for Persons with Disabilities (PWDs).

As this ceremony, specifically, was for Sign Language, he mentioned following clauses that address Sign Language specifically;

Article 9 - Accessibility
Clause 2E: States Parties shall also take appropriate measures to: Provide forms of live assistance and intermediaries, including guides, readers and professional sign language interpreters, to facilitate accessibility to buildings and other facilities open to the public;

Article 21 - Freedom of expression and opinion, and access to information
Clause 2: Accepting and facilitating the use of sign languages, Braille, augmentative and alternative communication, and all other accessible means, modes and formats of communication of their choice by persons with disabilities in official interactions;
Clause 5: Recognizing and promoting the use of sign languages.

rticle 24 - Education
Clause 3B: Facilitating the learning of sign language and the promotion of the linguistic identity of the deaf community;
Clause 4: In order to help ensure the realization of this right, States Parties shall take appropriate measures to employ teachers, including teachers with disabilities, who are qualified in sign language and/or Braille, and to train professionals and staff who work at all levels of education. Such training shall incorporate disability awareness and the use of appropriate augmentative and alternative modes, means and formats of communication, educational techniques and materials to support persons with disabilities.

Article 30 - Participation in cultural life, recreation, leisure and sport
Clause 4: Persons with disabilities shall be entitled, on an equal basis with others, to recognition and support of their specific cultural and linguistic identity, including sign languages and deaf culture.

With each Article he pointed out the gaps that we need to fill, i.e TV program do not have PSL interpreting and captioning that violet the right of access to information, there are not enough training courses on PSL, lack of trained and professional interpreters, lack of awareness and skill how to integrate a deaf student in mainstream class room, etc.

Next Danishkadah story video was displayed, this story video was developed in cooperation with Asia Pacific Development Center on Disability (APCD) under their Story base Knowledge Management (SbKM) project. In this project APCD selected two organizations from Pakistan and Danishkadah was one of them.

After that Mr. Aqeelur Rehman Hameed, who was the resource person for this course, thanked to PIQC for their support. He said 10 university students were trained in the course, and we tried our best to teach them basic signs so that they would be able to communicate with Deaf people. He further mentioned that there is a need of interpreters in hospitals, police station and other places as well to facilitate communication with deaf people. For this people who know sign language should come up for establishing an association.

PSL course students were given the chance to speak their experience. The students who recieved certificates shared their feelings and said how proud and honoured they are on this achievement.

Miss. Aisha Ahmed Alvi, a student who got 5 stars on her certificate, said "Deaf and hearing people both live in same society, so I learn sign language to be able to communicate with Deaf people. Before joining the course at Danishkadah I thought it would be very difficult to learn sign language but the course was well structured and Sir. Aqeel taught the course in easy way. A very good thing in this course was the workshops that Danishkadah arranged for us. In these workshops we worked directly with Deaf people that helped us a lot in learning and gaining confidence in communication with Deaf people. It I very good course and I thanked to Danishkadah for starting this course. I am glad that now I can communicate in Sign Language and have many new Deaf friends! Thanks to Danishkaah team for giving us such a wonderful learning expereince."

Finally guests were requested to address the participants.

Ms. Sidra Husain General Manager PIQC, in her short speech appreciated Danishkadah's efforts to empower Persons with disabilities.

Dr. Muhammad Shahnawaz Munami Disability In-charge of CHEF, in his speech said that he is feeling pleasure to be part of the ceremony. He introduce CHEF's activities in Peshawar. He mentioned that he is planning a stake holder conference on Pakistan Sign Language, with government, which will be schedule sometime in July 2011. He express his interest in learning Sign Language, and hoped he will learn some in near future.

Mr. Imranullah Shariff Director PIQC, appreciated the efforts of Danishkadah and said PIQC is always happy to share the resource with Danishkadah for skills development efforts. He also offered that PIQC will provide resource for future workshop on PLS for specific field such as for medical / Health care, so more people with sign language skills will be available in every field.

Later group photographs were taken followed by refreshments in a very cordial and friendly atmosphere between the members, students and guests.

Special Thanks

Special Thanks to PIQC Logo, TDAP and Dr. Nusrat for their support.

Photos from the Ceremony

Mr. Imranulla Shariff awarding certificate to Miss. Aisha Dr. Shahnawaz awarding certificate to Miss. Humaira Q. Ms. Sidra awarding certificate to Miss. Wirda
Mr. Imranulla Shariff (PIQC), Dr. Shahnawaz (CHEF), Ms. Sidra Hussain (PIQC), giving certificates to studetns.

a view audience group photo a view of audience 2
Different views of participants, and a group photo

Mr. Akram giving a presentation audience watching the video Mr. Aqeel addressing
1. Founder President Danishkadah giving a presentation, 2.Participants watching Danishkadah story video,
3.Resource person of the Course introducing PSL and Interpreting

Photos from Class rooms and Workshops

class room 1 class room 2 Class room 3
different views of classes

view 1 from workshop view 2 from workshop view 3 from workshop
Different views of students working with Deaf people in groups

view 1 from group discussion view 2 from group discussion view 3 from group discussion
Different views of students busy in group discussion

view 1 recapping the learning of the day view 2  recapping the learning of the day View 3 some guests addressing
Recapping what they have learned on the day. In 3rd photo few guest addressing.

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