The Inter-European Division (EUD) of the Seventh-day Adventist Church organized the first international course for interpreters for the deaf. The three-day course began September 18 and was held in the beautiful city of Seville, Spain.
Nearly 35 Deaf interpreters, translators and local deaf liaison participated in the course. They came from Germany, France, Portugal, Mexico, the United States and Spain.
"I'm excited the way it all worked out," says Taida Rivero, deaf interpreter, and project manager for Adventist deaf ministries in Spain. "It is a dream come true, and I'm very happy to have been able to contribute to its realization."
Organizers for the training said some of the goals included emphasizing the ethical code of an interpreter, analyzing the issues of the deaf community, learning the system of International Sign Language (ISL) understanding the physical, mental and emotional health of an interpreter, planning the logistics for the 2016 Deaf Congress, and fostering friendships among the attendees.
There are more than 400 sign languages in the world. ISL was taught during the training to help facilitate communication among interpreters, especially in light of the upcoming International Congress for the deaf and deaf-blind that will be held in Seville on May 13-16, 2016.
Within the Adventist Church in the EUD territory, there are now at least 4 official organizations for the deaf, Signes d'esperance in France, Gehörlosengemeinschaft in Germany, ASAE in Spain, and Raise and Walk in Romania. All of the organizations use their own local sign language.
Noemi Fariña, sign language interpreter, played an important role in the training of the participants. Fariña insisted on giving special care to the physical training of the interpreter. Signing is physically challenging, and proper training helps interpreters avoid any negative effects on the body.
"This is something which we [who do hear] don't automatically think of," said Corrado Cozzi, EUD deaf liaison. "For any speaker the training that is mostly needed is in homiletics, but for an interpreter or even for a deaf person to express himself, it is very important to be in good physical shape.
Presenters included, Larry Evans, deaf liaison of the General Conference, who discussed the benefits of remaining faithful to the divine principles; Javier Moliner, director of Sabbath School and Personal Ministries for the Adventist Church in Spain, who developed a Sabbath School for an exclusively deaf audience; Taida Riveiro, who raised awareness of the need to create a strong team spirit among the interpreters; and Pedro Torres, communications director of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Spain, who translated the entire course.
In preparation for next year’s International Congress of the Deaf and Deaf-blind, organizers led participants to consider how to facilitate visits to local monuments and attractions.