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Injustice to the Deaf Due to Lack of Interpreters

June 30, 2015

ELEVEN years ago, Tina* was raped by two men on her way home from school in Rizal one night. As she struggled, nobody heard the 11-year-old deaf child. Seeking justice for more than a decade, she remains without a voice in her own trial in court.

During the presentation of her case, she was allowed volunteer interpreters to speak for her in court, but afterwards the court in Antipolo just stopped issuing a subpoena for an interpreter, leaving Tina in silence during hearings.

When she first heard about the case, former public special education teacher Liwanag Caldito of Support and Empower Abused Deaf Children, Inc. (SEADC) helped with the interpreting.

SEADC is a nongovernment organization working to raise awareness of human rights and personal safety among Deaf children in the community.

Hindi naiintindihan ng bata kung anong pinagsasasabi nila (The child could not understand what they were saying). She doesn’t know whether she should say yes or no,” said Caldito, also a founding member of the Philippine National Association of Sign Language Interpreters.

When Caldito interpreted for Tina, the court asked her whether she was licensed or not. “They would like to have people who are qualified. For those who aid the Deaf, we just help without thinking of the licensing,” she pointed out.

– See more at: http://verafiles.org/silenced-victims-injustice-to-the-deaf-due-to-lack-of-interpreters/#sthash.23IB1Sbe.dpuf – Article written by Yvette Morales

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