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Introducing Cover Versions in Kenyan Sign Language (KSL)

Kenyan Sign Language (KSL) is a very expressive language. Songs in sign language are therefore equally expressive and many times are more expressive than their purely vocal versions. I was first introduces to this concept while a student and intern interpreter at DOOR Africa then located in Limuru, Kenya.
Since then I have interpreted hundred of songs in private and in public for various audiences. On many occasions I have been encouraged to make these into video formats and make a compilation for the songs - I must admit that I have overthought the idea and many times procrastinated the initialization of this idea. I have wanted to have a crew and do perfect videos, make money while entertaining using signed songs. The perfectionist in me, wanted perfect videos and broadcast quality......Besides I have had my own personal insecurities of how I would be judged or criticized and compared with other performers or put on the spotlight. 
Over the years I have had dreams of playlists, mixx t…

Long Break is Over - Back to Blogging

What I try to do is write. I may write for two weeks ‘the cat sat on the mat, that is that, not a rat,’…. And it might be just the most boring and awful stuff. But I try. When I’m writing, I write. And then it’s as if the muse is convinced that I’m serious and says, ‘Okay. Okay. I’ll come. – Maya Angelou
I am comforted that I am not alone in going on a hiatus.....coming are some of the ideas I would like to change in the upcoming blogs.

more topical blog topics video blogs accessibility issues I promise it will not be typing only but writing.
follow me on Twitter = @owitie

Kenyan Sign Language Testing - Are we perpetuating a failed system?

The education of learners with disabilities (special needs) in Kenya has been embraced by the Kenya government as reflected in several policy documents including the Children’s Act 2001, the declaration of Free Primary Education in January 2003, the provisions of the Disabilities Act 2003 and the Sessional Paper No. 1 of 2005 on the Policy Framework for Education, Training and Research which guarantee the education and employment of all persons without discrimination.
In Kenya, special education existed long before independence since special schools such as Thika School for the Blind was established in 1946 by the Salvation Army (a church based organization). However, no guidelines were put in place to guide special education issues including examinations. Through the recommendations of the various education commissions in Kenya, the government has stressed the importance of the education of the disabled in order to assist them to acquire a suitable foundation for the world of work so …

Omission Taxonomy: Miscues on sign language interpreted news broadcast in Kenya

Omission Taxonomy: Miscues on sign language interpreted news broadcast in Kenya an observation documentation of issues of quality and correct interpretation of content
Keywords: Miscues, Kenyan Sign Language, Interpretation, Interpreter
The most effective analyses of interpretations give consideration to message equivalence and to the interactive influences on an interpretation. This philosophy is heavily reflected in the contributions to a recent work (Roy 2000b) It is typical, however, for analysis to concentrate on the identification of errors or miscues in the form of additions, omissions, substitutions, and intrusions (e.g., Cokely 1992). Therefore it should be noted early that the examples cited here are not personal attack on any individual or undermining the skills of anyone. I felt it important to acknowledge the positive and negative effects of producing omissions within an interpretation in that an interpretation can be considered successful even if omissions are made; but at…

Why KSLIA – Looking Back, 2015 and Beyond

When we founded KSLIA in September of 2000 the twenty people present on that day represented the face of interpreting then. We were both young and old, novice and pros, we were male and female, black and white and we agreed that the association would look at the following issues. For the past 14 fourteen years we have barely touched on the fundamental mandate of the association. I would like to take a moment and look back at where we have come from, where we are and where we ought to be as an association.
Talking to many interpreters in Nairobi and elsewhere there is an apparent lack of understanding of the reason why KSLIA was formed, its mandate and objectives. This has resulted in KSLIA having fewer members, near zero activities and no secretariat. The apathy is reasonable for there are several contributing factors. The successive change of office bearers and lack of continuity could be an attributing factor – while it is a good thing to have new leadership, it is disastrous when yo…

Lal Daggy-Story Ya Machampions (Lyrics)

Check out new release "Lal Daggy" by Kenya's first #DeafRapper @laldaggy & @Noninimusic #ListenLoveShare

Tribute to the Late Eunice Amolo Kasisi

"I started learning Sign Language to be able to share the Word of God and my testimony with my Deaf brethren." 
This past month of June the Kenyan Deaf community lost one of the founding members of the interpreter professions in Kenya. Eunice Amolo Kasisi passed on peacefully in her home the night of 14th June 2014. Many tributes and messages of condolence poured in from the local and international community that worked with Eunice. Her body was laid to rest 28th June 2014 in her home town of Webuye, Kenya. 
 Here is a summary tribute from her family, colleagues and friends:
When Eunice was 19, she accepted Jesus as her Savior. The same year Eunice became a Christian, her hearing church started a Deaf congregation. She became friends with the wife of the minister of the Deaf congregation. The wife was a sign language interpreter. Eunice was so touched by the first Deaf church service she attended that she felt it was the right place for her to serve the Lord.
It took one year …