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GDRFA Dubai launches Emirati sign language dictionary on its smart platform

The General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) in Dubai, in cooperation with the Ministry of Community Development and the Zayed Higher Organization for People of Determination, launched the training program titled ‘The Emirati Sign Language Dictionary’ on its smart platform ‘Enrichment of Continuous Learning.’ The initiative is aimed at training and preparing GDRFA’s front line employees on the latest means and skills in dealing with people of determination belonging to the hearing impairment category. GDRFA Dubai is the first governmental authority in the UAE to launch an interactive training program for its employees. His Excellency Major General Mohammed Al Marri, Director General of GDRFA Dubai, affirmed: “The Emirati sign language dictionary for deaf individuals comes as a part of the UAE vision 2021 and the national agenda aimed at establishing a cohesive society preserving its national identity. The smart training program on the ‘Enrichment of Continuous Learning’ platform, aligns with the strategic goals and values GDRFA has adopted in promoting the culture of smart learning. It is one of the most important tools in developing its human cadres and upgrading their performance, thus contributing to achieving institutional excellence in all fields, he said. His Excellency Major General Al Marri added: “The training and development of our employees is at the top of the priorities of GDRFA Dubai in order to make our customers happy. We are keen to choose modern tools and means capable of strengthening training outputs in line with the training needs of all employees. This fruitful cooperation between the GDRFA Dubai and the Zayed Higher Organization for People of Determination aligns with the government’s directives to integrate efforts between other bodies to enrich knowledge and exchange of experiences.” Al Marri pointed out that the training program will facilitate communication between employees and people of determination with hearing disabilities with ease and comfort, in addition to enhancing the national identity of people of determination and increasing their pride in their homeland and their own language derived from the local dialect. He affirmed the wise leadership’s keenness to support people of determination and provide them with a comfortable environment so that they can integrate better with their peers in society. His Excellency Al Marri valued the efforts of the Zayed Higher Organization for People of Determination to prepare this distinguished program, which will immensely constitute to achieving effective participation and equal opportunities in integrating community members under one roof in addition to standardizing the Emirati sign language at the national level. His Excellency Nasser Ismail, Assistant secretary for Social Welfare Affairs at the Ministry of Community Development, said: “The Emirati sign language dictionary is the result of the efforts of our strategic partners who contributed to collecting the sign vocabulary of the deaf nationwide, unifying and circulating it for preservation and circulation among the deaf, and documenting it in the form of an approved dictionary. This can be used for teaching and better integrating deaf students into the community as a main reference that aims to raise the level of local community culture in sign language, and helps in preparing and qualifying sign language interpreters from among the citizens of the country.” He pointed out the importance of the dictionary in enriching integration and empowerment of people of determination. His Excellency Abdullah Abdel Ali Al Humaidan, Secretary General of the Zayed Higher Organization for People of Determination, said that the sign language dictionary project took place under the supervision and follow up of His Highness Sheikh Khalid bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Zayed Higher Organization, and is an achievement in the field of caring for people of determination at the national level. The project’s first phase has been completed and is currently in the process of announcing the completion of the second phase thereof. We are working to collect and document the sign language vocabulary for the deaf from across the country for preservation and circulation among the deaf. This will ensure access to a unified sign language at the national level and preserve the rights of the Emirati language sign and its ease of teaching it to the deaf and others targeting the deaf, community members as well as educational institutions, he said. Lt. Col. Yasser Al Khanbouli, Director of the Training and Performance Development Department at GDRFA Dubai, said: “The dictionary is a new addition in support of the continuous learning process. It is the first of its kind on its smart platform ‘Ithraa’ to teach the Emirati sign language. We have worked to integrate all its contents into one video that can be followed up and its impact measured at the level of employees.” He noted that the dictionary has 21 chapters, the most important of which are the indicative alphabet chapter, the official documents chapter, the family chapter, the regions and tourist attractions chapter, as well as a number of areas related to social life .
Publish Date: 
05/12/2020

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