Ugandan sign language interpretation services for learners with hearing impairment in inclusive secondary schools in Uganda: challenges and successes
Julius, Patrick Omugur
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The study aimed at establishing the provision of sign language interpretation services for learners who are deaf and/or hard of hearing in an inclusive secondary school that practices the policy of inclusive education in Uganda. This chapter assesses the work of sign language interpreters and the challenges they encounter during indoor and outdoor interpreting activities in an inclusive regular secondary school. Interpreters are believed to work closely with the teachers teaching in the school for learners with hearing impairment. Method: This chapter adopted a qualitative case study design, identifying six teachers and six sign language interpreters through purposive sampling. Data collection instruments were interview, observation, and focus group discussions. Results: Implementation of universal secondary education (USE) has had less impact on the teaching and learning of students with hearing impairment in secondary schools in Uganda. Findings of a communication disparity in such an inclusive environment are not conclusive enough to explain the challenges and successes investigated. Challenges appear to be rooted in the interpreters’ level of qualification, from the learners with hearing impairments, from the teachers and school administration, as well as resulting from environmental and contextual factors. Educational and cultural diversity also have an influence. Discussion: There is a need to develop a healthy inclusive school working environment. Further training for sign language interpreters, and awareness campaigns to support the work of sign language interpreters in educational settings is still wanting.