Corporate Jamaica encouraged to become deaf-friendly

Executive Director of  the Jamaica Association for the Deaf, Kimberley Sherlock Marriott-Blake speaking at a JIS Think Tank event.
Executive Director of the Jamaica Association for the Deaf, Kimberley Sherlock Marriott-Blake

The Jamaica Association for the Deaf (JAD) is encouraging corporate Jamaica to have workers trained in sign language, in light of members of the deaf community experiencing difficulties when conducting transactions.

“If your organisation is providing a service to the public, we are encouraging you to learn sign language,” Executive Director Kimberley Sherlock Marriott-Blake said at a JIS ‘Think Tank’ recently.

“Begin to help break down the discriminatory assumptions persons may have [about the deaf] by engaging with us to make your organisation deaf-friendly,” she added.

The deaf community is approximately 70,000 persons across the island.

— Executive Director of the Jamaica Association for the Deaf , Kimberley Sherlock Marriott-Blake

To this end, Sherlock Marriott-Blake indicated that the JAD offers sign language training to corporate entities at a cost and interested entities may contact them.

Photo: Deaf Bible Society

The JAD Director further argued that sign language can be just as valuable to any organisation as a foreign language and should be perceived as such by entities.

“If you can teach a deaf person life or entrepreneurial skills, we would love to partner with you.”

— Executive Director of the Jamaica Association for the Deaf , Kimberley Sherlock Marriott-Blake

“We believe in the need for us to have more persons who can communicate with and provide services for the deaf community. The deaf community is approximately 70,000 persons across the island, and we are talking about persons of different ages who will require different services,” Sherlock Marriott-Blake pointed out.

She is also encouraging persons to volunteer with the association.

“Give of your time. If you can teach a deaf person life or entrepreneurial skills, we would love to partner with you, because there are so many skills we would like to teach our students,” Mrs. Sherlock Marriott-Blake said. 

Interested volunteers may email the Association at admin@jamdeaf.org.jm.