Basseterre, St. Kitts (SKNIS): In celebration of International Day of Sign Languages, Minister of Education, the Honourable Jonel Powell and the Honourable Lindsay Grant visited the Centre for the Disabled on September 23, 2020.
On the occasion, Minister Powell was taught to spell his name in sign language. He noted that this is often taken for granted.
“Sometimes we take these things for granted and it is important for us to know these things,” he said.
He said that he was happy to see the deaf learning and was particularly impressed that they were able to teach him. “It shows that you all are doing very well. You have the ability to teach anybody anything really.”
Minister Powell said that he was happy to celebrate International Day of Sign Languages with the members of the centre. He told them to keep up the good work and that he looks forward to going back.
The Education Minister added that he looks forward to working with the members to have them provide sign language services when the ministry makes future presentations.
Minister Grant was there in support of his sister who is deaf. The minister shared that his sister went to a school for the deaf. He also shared that he took in his sister’s first two children years ago who spoke mainly in sign language as both parents only signed. They have now left. He is now taking care of his sister’s youngest.
“I have a particular affinity for this kind of thing,” he said. “For me, it’s great to be here and I understand the environment. It is not easy, but when you meet together that is important. …You are doing a great job. Continue and we appreciate it.”
International Day of Sign Languages is celebrated across the world on 23rd September every year along with International Week of the Deaf. The choice of 23rd September is the same date that the World Federation of the Deaf was established in 1951.
The theme for 2020 International Day of Sign languages is “Sign Languages Are for Everyone!”