OVER 1K TAGUIG CITY EMPLOYEES LEARN SIGN LANGUAGE
TAGUIG CITY – More than 1,000 employees of Taguig City government has begun attending sign language seminars in what could be considered a first for a local government unit in the Philippines.
Dubbed as “Talk with Your Hands: Basic Sign Language” training, the city council aims to equip all its employees with the ability to interact with the hard-hearing population and also to empathize with them, according to Jeanette Clemente, city personnel officer, head of the program.
“Communication plays a vital role in both our daily transactions at the City Hall and our daily lives, so we want to address our inabilities as people without disabilities that have excluded those with abilities different than ours,” she added.
The inaugural session of the sign language classes started on September 17. Since then, the Human Resource Management Office (HRMO), who spearheads the project, has conducted the seminar to more than 700 employees of the Taguig City Hall.
The series has 35 sessions, each one training 30 personnel at a time. Noenah S. Salvador, a sign language teacher certified by the Philippine Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf and a new addition to the City Hall family, teaches in the said sessions.
The last session for the year will conclude on December 20.
Participants learn the situation of the deaf-mute community through the class. They are taught fingerspelling, name introduction and sign names, among others. Each session ends with an evaluation conducted by Taguig’s deaf-mute employees themselves.
Clemente and other city hall employees recognized the need from their inability to communicate.
Hence, to employ persons with disability, the local government hired 22 deaf-mute individuals as encoders at Taguig City Integrated Survey System (TCISS).
The initiative expected to positively impact not only internal affairs but also “the PWD among the public, taxpayers, constituents that come to the city government, transacting with us,” Clemente said.
“Inclusiveness has been of utmost importance to the probinsyudad, so we gave this a go-signal. I am in full support of this, as of any other program that would capacitate our people with skills to reach out to vulnerable sectors. I look forward to this program’s impact on the quality of service at the city hall,” Taguig City Mayor Laarni Cayetano said.
Photo from Science Magazine