The email further below comes from the secretary of the World Association of Sign Language Interpreters (WASLI) regarding their recent conference in Spain. Some sign language interpreters from developing nations were among the participants.
At the WASLI web site (http://www.wasli.org), you can see a daily newsletter from the conference (in English at top, in Spanish if you scroll down the page). You will also find text on topics such as developing a code of ethics for interpreters (see the link to the code of ethics in Kenya); mentoring sign language interpreters; links to information about deaf interpreters; and more.
Their “WASLI Country Reports 2007” (PDF format, 2.8 Mb) presents recent information about the situation of sign language interpreters or Deaf/deaf people generally in dozens of both industrialized and developing nations around the world. Some of the developing nations represented include: Botswana, Ethiopia, Madagascar, Nigeria, Cambodia, India, Peru, and Mexico.
WASLI also published a similar report two years earlier, WASLI Country Reports 2005 (PDF format, 1 Mb). The low- and middle-income countries represented in this report include: Argentina, Brazil, Cameroon, Kenya, Madagascar, Malaysia, Nigeria, Palestine, South Africa, Tanzania, and Uganda.
Limited summaries of the WASLI website is available in other languages in PDF format by clicking on “About this website in other languages” WASLI’s left-hand navigation bar. Languages include Arabic, Brazialian Portuguese, Italian, Kiswahili, Japanese, Thai, French, Cantonese, Indonesian, Spanish, and Russian.
Email From WASLI Secretary
From: Zane Hema WASLI Secretary
Date: Sun, 4 Nov 2007 00:44:55 -0000
WASLI is committed to developing the profession of sign language interpreting world wide
2007 has been an important year for WASLI primarily because it was the year that the 2nd WASLI Conference took place in Segovia, Spain 13-15 July 2007.
WASLI Conference 2007 – UPDATED WEBPAGE
The WASLI 2007 page on the website has been devoted to the WASLI 2007 Conference in Segovia. It has been updated to include:
A photo gallery,
Minutes of the General Membership meeting,
Scenes from Segovia (Conference Newsletter)
Messages of Greetings
Update on the WASLI 2007 Conference Proceedings
… with more information to follow
WASLI Conference 2007 – OFFICIAL STATISTICS
Total number of participants – 255 (197 women and 58 men) from 41 different countries. (This figure does not include working interpreters, companions and an individual from Press purposes)
159 were members of an interpreter association.
20 delegates were sponsored (8 people who were sponsored did not come)
Spain had the highest number of participants at 102
Africa – 6 countries represented
North America – 3 countries represented
Europe – 14 countries represented
Balkans – 3 countries represented
Australasia & Oceania – 2 countries represented
Asia – 8 countries represented
Transcaucasia & Central Asia – 1 country represented
Latino America – 4 countries represented
More news to follow shortly …
We Can Do received the above email via the Intl-Dev email distribution list, which circulates information of interest to international development professionals and others with an interest in the field. The other information about WASLI and its country reports was gathered from the WASLI web site. Neither We Can Do nor Intl-Dev are associated with WASLI–individuals interested in their organization should follow the link to review their web site directly.
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For many parents of disabled children, their own child may be the first person they have ever met who has a disability. Any of us may feel frightened when we are first exposed to something unfamiliar simply because we cannot be sure what to expect. It can be even more frightening when the unfamiliar affects your own child–especially if you had always assumed until then that disabled people necessarily lead tragic lives of deprivation and suffering.
Support groups and networks can be invaluable in helping reassure families that a happy and fulfilled life is still possible after a diagnosis. It may be a very different life, with a very different daily routine than they had planned upon when starting their family. But it can be just as rewarding.
But what if the affected child has a rare disability–so rare that your child might be the only person with that disability in your entire city? Even if your city has as many as 100 to 300 thousand people? And what if you are also in a developing nation where resources of any kind for people with disabilities are rare and hard to find? Such is the case for families of people with Rubinstein Taybi syndrome.
Rubinstein Taybi syndrome generally involves some degree of cognitive impairment and an assortment of medical problems that might include feeding problems, respiratory infections, ear and eye infections, cataracts or glaucoma, and heart problems.
One American organization for families of people with Rubinstein Taybi syndrome has established a web site that has links to similar organizations around the world. Not surprisingly, most of these organizations are in high-income countries, particularly in Europe. However the web site indicates that sometimes smaller, more informal support networks may still exist in some countries even if there is no official organization there. It is also possible for family members to join a mailing list (via email) that currently has 180 members from two dozen different countries.
The full list of organizations, and instructions for joining the email discussion group, can be consulted at:
Official organizations appear to exist–or at least have web sites in–only two middle-income countries and no low-income countries.
The Argentina page (in Spanish) can be found at:
The Brazil page (in Portuguese) can be found at:
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