Bridging the communication gap: Calapan City employees learn sign language

Navigating the world can be a challenge for people with hearing or speech impairments. Everyday tasks that require communication, such as ordering food or making a transaction, can be difficult due to communication barriers.

The government of Calapan City is taking a significant step towards inclusiveness by providing its employees with a Basic Sign Language Seminar.

The program, initiated by the city government and the Persons with Disability Affairs Office (PDAO), aims to equip government employees with the tools to communicate effectively with people who have hearing or speech impairments.

The recent “Basic Sign Language Seminar” organized by Calapan City brought together 16 government employees from eight agencies to learn sign language. The program was held at the Kalap Hall of City College of Calapan.

Benjamin Agua Jr., head of the PDAO, said the learning sign language is a priority program of Mayor Malou Morillo, especially for private and government offices.

The program addresses the difficulties faced by people with disabilities when they need to transact with government and private offices. In such instances, clients and personnel often experience difficulties understanding each other.

To facilitate communication, the City College of Calapan partnered with the Bachelor of Special Needs Education (BSNEd) to teach participants the basics of sign language, starting with hand signals for the letters of the alphabet, numbers, and other forms of communication.

The 16 participants were representatives from various agencies, including the police, Bureau of Fire Protection, Bureau of Jail Management and Penology, Philippine Coast Guard Station, Philippine Ports Authority, and Land Transportation Office.

This is the third group to undergo the training, with the first being government employees and the second being bank personnel in the city.

With such programs, the government of Calapan City is leading the way towards a more inclusive society.

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