Sign Language is not very particular among Brunei Society and most People has a very limited or no absolute knowledge on this language. Due to that reason, the Executive of Community Service and Student Welfare, University Brunei Darussalam, initiated steps to increase public awareness with respect to Sign Language by holding a workshop under the theme “You I See”.
Sign Language is a language that is very unique. The sign is not only the movement of fingers, hands, and even body movements with facial expression also in need to connect with someone who has a hearing impairment.
The workshop launched and officiated yesterday by Acting Head of Special Education Unit, Ministry Of Education, Puan Hjh Haidah Bte Hamdan as the Guest of Honor. While the Chiman of the Event Yang Mulia, Awang Mu’ammar bin Haji Awang Masnan as the Head Executive of Community Service and Student Welfare, in his welcoming remarks stated that the workshop could be an arena where the youth collaborates and unites in order to learn the language which is rarely practiced in Brunei.
As language is a crucial connection between people from different cultures and backgrounds, Thus, Sign Language is a language that is mainly used to communicate with person with hearing impairment said the Guest of Honor in her speech. She expressed her appreciation for the efforts of the organizers to hold the event because it increased the importance of fostering communication with individuals who have hearing Impairment and communication disorders.
The day continues with a talk by Professor Dr. Okey Abossi titled ‘Why Sign Language?’ where he explained that Sign Language is unique yet effective tools of communication among the hearing impaired as we wave our hands, nod our heads and displaying our facial expression in order to communicate with others.
According to Dr. Abossi, a person who has a hearing impairment, mental retardation or cognitive disorders may have problems with social relationships and educationally. So, with the aid of Sign Language as the facilities to make them part of society they would be able to interact and communicate with the people.
The talk point out the causes and effects of hearing impairment which help the participants and audience to understand more about it. Soon after the talk ended, the Dean of Students, Yang Mulia Awang Ahmad Faisal bin Hj Zainal Abidin presented the token of appreciation to the guest of honor.
The Workshop officially begins in the afternoon, where officers from special education unit named Yang Mulia, Dayang Hjh Norbayah binti Hj Shahminan who delivered a presentation and several other officials who helped on giving practical for participants.
Earlier yesterday, the participants were given a test on what they learned the day before. The test was to detect how well the undergraduates able to understand what they have learned about sign language.
During the afternoon session, participants were once again tested in order to train them to be more confident in using the sign language. So, the undergraduates were asked to deliver a verse that has been assigned to them and communicate it through sign language to a woman aged 25 and have hearing problems.
Dayang Zintha Rizan Binti Mohd Zin who is an assistant teacher at the Latihan Industri Pusat Bahagia Tutung does not experience any communication problems with other people because she learned sign language since her childhood and uses hearing aids. She said that her relationship with her family also not affected because one of his family members who do not have similar problems also learn sign language to facilitate even to help herself.
The workshop ended after the participants gave their “signature name” in sign language to Dayang Zintha.
The other half of the afternoon, the Closing Ceremony was held at the Student Centre with Yang Mulia Awang Ahmad Faisal bin Hj Zainal Abidin, the Dean of Students as the Guest of Honor.
The event filled with speech from the representative of participants for the Sign Language Workshop. Dayang Norrahmat stated that the workshop represent as a connecting bridge between ordinary citizens with citizens who have hearing problems due to the use of Sign Language itself. She also expects that this event would be a continued effort in the years to come.
Officially, sign language workshop was closed with the presentation of certificates to the participants and souvenirs for the representatives of the Special Education Unit was presented by the Dean of Students, Yang Mulia Awang Ahmad Faisal bin Hj Zainal Abidin.
Alhamdulillah, it was an eye-opening experience and awareness to the undergraduates. Students would love to continue learning workshop on Sign Language in the future.
Janatul Hj Rahman & Azmi
Journalist of Exco Media & Public Relation Officer of PMUBD