i just attended an international seminar on sign language research over the weekend held at universiti malaya (UM). it was a great seminar though i rarely understand sign language (SL). no worries, the seminar was conducted in both spoken and in SL as there were hearing and deaf participants from the asia pacific (AP) region.
there were 8 abstracts presented over those 2 days. the abstracts are as follows
- deaf empowerement through sign language research : malaysian persepctives (dr zubaidah ibrahim-bell & ms. ho koon wei)
- sign language research and development in hong kong (dr felix sze)
- sign language research for and by the deaf - overcoming challenges on the philippines (dr liza b. martinez)
- recognising language of the deaf community: the concepts of communication, language, speech, signing and their relationship with the means of communication used by the deaf people (drabdullah yusoff & che rabiaah mohamed)
- linguistics and sign language interpreting (roger t bell)
- deaf pride (ms. jessica mak)
- development of sign languag and the deaf community in cambodia (rev. charles dittmeier)
- dictionary of malaysian sign language: a preliminary study (dr ibrahim ahmad & mr bdul rahim mat yassim)
i've attended several conferences, seminars etc BUT this is the only seminar that i attended where we have SL interpreters and also speaking interpreters
my eyes were glued on the SL interpreter when the paper was presented with my ears listening to the presenter. oh well, half of the time i wasn't really listening. was just observing the signs that are signed by the interpreter.
the hall was divided into two parts (the hearing and the deaf - so that it's easier for the SL interpreter) but when we were at the dining hall i really couldn't tell if he/she is deaf or not unless he/she decided to open his/her mouth to utter words.
signs were thrown all over. you could be sitting at the end of the room and you could be signing to your friend sitting at the other end of the room provided you can see him and he's not too far (the dining hall was slightly bigger than the size of 2 classrooms joined together.
i read slow. i sign slow. so you can actually see my head turning left and right observing what they are talking. even their finger spelling is so fast! it's as fast as ERL. i finger spell as fast as the trishaw goes.
it was a great time. i may not get to know every single deaf person there but the experience was really awesome!