The conclusion of the first International course for Interpreters for the Deaf took place on Sunday, Sept. 20. It was organized by the Inter-European Region (EUD) of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. The course lasted a weekend, it began Friday, September 18 and was held in the beautiful city of Seville, Spain.
About 35 Deaf interpreters, translators and beginners local Deaf Liaison participated in the course. They came from Germany, France, Portugal, Mexico, the United States and of course Spain.
"I'm excited the way it all worked out," says Taida Rivero, deaf interpreter, but also project manager for the Ministry of the deaf in Spain. "It is a dream come true, and I'm very happy to have been able to contribute to its realization."
Those who attended the course were Noemi Fariña, SL Interpreter and pre-doctoral researcher in the BCBL; Larry Evans, General Conference of Adventist Deaf Liaison; Javier Moliner, Sabbath School and Personal Ministries Director of Adventists in Spain; Taida Rivero and Corrado Cozzi, EUD Deaf Liaison.
Some of the goals for the course were to learn and remember the ethical code of an Interpreter Sign Language (ILS); to analyze the concepts of Deaf Community; to introduce the system of International Sign Language (ISL); to analyze and evaluate the physical, mental and emotional health of an ILS; to plan the dynamics for the 2016 Deaf Congress; to create friendship and partnership, etc.
Not everyone knows that there are more than 400 sign languages in the world. That is why an International Sign Language (ISL) was introduced to facilitate communication especially in international meetings, such as that recently concluded in Istanbul.
Within the Adventist Church in the EUD territory, there are now at least 4 official organizations (France, Signes d'esperance - http://signesdesperance.org/; Germany, STA - Gehörlosengemeinschaft https://www.facebook.com/Sordos-Adventistas-en-Espa%C3%B1a-252479178134583/timeline/ https: //sta-gehoerlosengemeinschaft.adventist. eu, Spain, ASAE, ; Romania, Raise and Walk, https://www.facebook.com/ridicatesiumbla ). Of course all of them use their own local sign language. Hence the suggestion to introduce a common language, especially in view of the forthcoming International Congress for the deaf and deaf-blind that will be held in Seville on May 13-16, 2016.
Noemi Fariña played an important role in the training of the participants. Regarding sign language skills, Fariña insisted on giving special care to the physical training of the interpreter. Sign and body language is physically challenging, and proper training will avoid any negative imbalances in the body. "This is something which we (who do hear) don't automatically think of," said Corrado Cozzi, "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."
Taking part in the program were also: Taida Riveiro, who in his introductory message raised awareness to the need of creating a strong team spirit among the interpreters; Javier Moliner, who along with Riveiro developed a Sabbath School session (an Adventist systematic study of the Bible) for an exclusively deaf audience; Larry Evans, presented the benefits of remaining faithful to the divine principles, commenting and applying the famous story of the three young Hebrews in the book of Daniel (chapter 3). A pleasant evening visit to the monuments of the city of Seville ended a rather full day.
The visit to the city, however, was included in the schedule for next year's program of the International Congress of the Deaf and Deaf-blind. Participants were able to look at the rich monuments of the city and choose how to facilitate the future visit for the Deaf and Deaf-blind.
Among the participants there was Pastor Jeffrey Jordan with his wife Melissa, his faithful interpreter. Pastor Jordan is the first Adventist minister with a Master's degree to pastor a church of 70 deaf members. He will be one of the main guest speakers at the next Congress. His presence, but above all, his advice as a deaf himself, have prompted the organization of the event.
"It's amazing what you're doing," said Pastor Jordan, "I understand the significance of my commitment to lead in the spiritual aspect of the conference. It will be a blessing for everyone."
Sign language is a language to be interpreted with care, in order to understand and be understood. But this is the case for everyone, even for a hearing person who attends an international meeting and doesn't understand the language of the speakers. Pedro Torres, Communications Director of Adventists in Spain, was the translator for the entire course, his contribution made a tremendous difference.