When the COVID-19 pandemic hit this country, Cambodian Sign Language interpreters of the Maryknoll Deaf Development Programme provided interpretation in educational videos created by the Cambodian government.
Viewing the nightly news on TV or social media videos that do not have sign language interpreters leaves deaf people feeling frustrated, left out, confused and anxious, said program staffers. Access to reliable information and pressing new details are crucial to fighting the spread of COVID-19 and helping people to stay calm, gain knowledge on how to protect themselves and finally learn what they can do if they do have the virus. As of April 15, Cambodia had 122 confirmed cases.
“Having accessible information for the deaf has been a new development in Cambodia,” said Keat Sokly, co-director of the Deaf Development Programme. “In the past year, the country’s deaf individuals who understand Cambodian Sign Language have had more access to current events and news reports.”