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Secretary of State Em Chan Makara Calls for More Sign Language Interpreters to Meet Cambodia's Needs

PHNOM PENH: The Secretary of State of the Ministry of Social Affairs, and Secretary-General of the Disability Action Council, Em Chan Makara, has called for more sign language interpreters to be trained to meet current and future needs, as Cambodia will hold a series of major events starting from 2022.

He made this statement while distributing gifts to teachers and students at Phnom Penh Thmey and Chbar Ampov Special Education high Schools on behalf of the Minister of Social Affairs, Vong Sauth, on Wednesday morning, for the occasion of the the 23rd National and 39th International Day of Persons with Disabilities.

"In Cambodia, there are less than 20 people, which means very little! In other words, if we have more meetings, ASEAN meetings, ASEM meetings, they will start looking for sign language interpreters. Because big international meetings must have a sign language interpreter. Some meetings last for three days in a row, morning and evening, we cannot translate by using only one or two interpreters, so a lot more are needed. And from now until 2023, our Cambodia, the chair of ASEAN, is in dire need,” said the Secretary of State.

He thus urged lower-level officials to start working with the Ministry of Education to increase sign language interpreters in preparation for future events. He said that the sign language course should take at least 10 months of training to be applicable.

Previously, Prime Minister Hun Sen had also called on TV stations to include sign language interpreters in their programs, but the problem is that there is a serious lack of sign language interpreters, and increasing the number requires proper training courses to be available.

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