My name is Kaewkul Tantipisitkul, the 19th DUSKIN Trainee and I am a general secretary of National Association of the Deaf in Thailand (NADT) since July 2016. So, my activities will be role of NADT. I would like to share some of my activities in 2018.
In Thailand, we have the persons with disabilities empowerment act, which promotes and supports lives of persons with disabilities. We also have the policies to promote and support the quality of lives for persons with disabilities by providing fund for projects to empower persons with disabilities every fiscal year. Because of limited period of fiscal year, time was not enough. To get the opportunity of the fund, around 1 month before back to my country, I shared and discussed the information about what I learned in Japan and how we could adapt that to do in Thailand and then decided to consult my idea of projects with a president of National Association of the Deaf (NADT). After that, we planned the schedule for getting the opportunity of the fund to support any projects for implementation and for successfully completing them.
NADT has many projects and each project of them has a head of its project. During training in Japan, I mostly wrote, facilitated and managed projects via online as much as I could. The president of NADT was the head for running projects and negotiating with government subcommittee and committee, however, it took time a bit to make some of the project proposals to submit. So, I will be a mainly responsible for getting fund to manage projects and negotiating with them.
It was the first time in Thailand that hearing people and deaf took International Sign Interpreter Training Workshop together. I got an idea on the interpreter training while taking class for Sign Language Interpreter Training in Tokyo, which was my first time that I saw hearing people and deaf people participated and interacted together. The workshop in Thailand made deaf and hearing sign language interpreters be in stronger relationship and understand each other more. In the workshop, I was a coordinator, facilitator for the government sector and professional International Sign lecturer. Moreover, I took my opportunity to take class for International Sign too. It was the first time for me to use International Sign and my International Sign skill was developed during the workshop!
It is the first International Sign book with both Thai Sign Language (ThSL) and International Sign (IS) in Thailand. I got the idea during training in Hyogo. I bought an International Sign Handbook and used it as a guideline, and ada pted it for target group in Thailand. I conducted overview of process of making the book, edited and designed content and characters in the book. In addition, the project had experts who were deaf from Japan and Thailand for checking “Sign Laguage”. The book was revised many times within limited time of the project. So challenging! Thank you to Mr. Shimamoto Yasunori and Ms. Yamamoto Ayako. I really appreciated for their helping us as experts of International Sign for the book. The first edition (100 books) was published.
Basic International Sign Book
The president of NADT and I wanted to implement a project of Access Service Center as we planned. The project was established by online service that makes us save time and we tried with sample group. However, from starting we spent time much because of technical needed. The service has 4 types: there are Voice to Caption, Voice to Sign Language, Sign Language to Text, and Text to Sign language. These services are working and run mainly by NADT (Deaf people) but some of the services are managed by hearing people. I was a main writer of the project and one of service providers for Sign Language to Text. We still provide these services continuously and will announce to the formal website this year. Hope we will get more and more deaf users and they can access the information and/or communicate on what they need.
As Thailand was the host for meeting in year 2018, I was responsible as a chair of an organization committee. So, I conducted overview which includes the negotiation with the government for fund supporting, timeline management, coordination with WFD-RSA office and design the schedule for Thai deaf leaders from various provinces to get the opportunity to join WFD-RSA. I got the experiences in having a meeting at the international level.
WFD RSA 2018 hosted by NADT, in THAILAND
I have to be thankful for getting this opportunity to my friend from USA who suggested a UN staff to contact me. It was a very challenging opportunity because we must have interpreted from text to sign language within limited shooting time of each scenes. It was so fast to interpret due to the limited time in some scenes of the film. However, my International Sign skill was developed by a deaf coaching for the film. Thank you very much for coaching me.
I got this opportunity because Mr.Shimamoto Y. suggested me to UNESCAP. It was my first time as panelist at the UN that I used Thai Sign Language for presentation and communication. It was worth of valuable experiences and I felt great for barrier free on communication when UNESCAP arranged Sign Language Interpreter for me. My presentation focused on the right of social protection from the perspective of accessible point. I believe that the government is trying to do best, but it still remains problematic as there is no accessibility. In the workshop, the participants discussed with many points. One of them was the data collection of persons with disabilities, which is the important thing and tells us more about what we should do next.
In addition, I was a lecturer for women deaf leaders of NADT project on topic “how to write the project proposal” in practical and “how to use this opportunity” for increasing their skills.
Panalists at workshop on “The Right to Social Protection: from Traditional Disability Welfare to social Inclusion”
In this year 2019, I wish that the communication barrier for the deaf community in Thailand will be reduced more and more. In addition, their career path should be more increasing way for their quality of life. Thus, NADT, board member, deaf friends and I will still keep forward to do the project best.
Lastly, I would like to thank you very much to AINOWA Foundation, DUSKIN Leadership program, JSRPD Staffs, all DUSKIN family and Japanese friends for all support.