…Iz Kruga – Vojvodina organized a webinar: Sensitization of sign language interpreters to work with deaf women in a situation of violence

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The coordinator of the SOS service, Ivana Zelic, on behalf of the Organization …IZ KRUGA – VOJVODINA, led the webinar Sensitization of sign language interpreters for working with deaf women in situations of violence. The webinar was organized on April 19, 2021, from 1 to 3 p.m. via the ZOOM application.

Activities to improve the support system for women with disabilities are carried out in cooperation with the United Nations Agency for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment UN WOMEN and with the financial support of the European Commission within the project entitled Improving policies and capacities of service providers in ten municipalities in Serbia (Doljevac, Novi Knezevac, Mionica, Negotin, Kragujevac, Raska, Uzice, Valjevo, Vranje and Zabalj), in order to ensure accessibility, availability and quality of general and specialized services for women with disabilities exposed to violence, which is part of the regional program Stopping violence over women in the Western Balkans and Turkey: implementing norms, changing mind.

The webinar was intended for sign language interpreters who work with deaf women from different cities in Serbia.

Webinar leader Ivana Zelic spoke about defining, recognizing and types of violence, the most common tactics of taking power over a deaf woman, stages of violence, traumas caused by violence, incorrect attitudes about violence, ethical code of the Association of Serbian sign language interpreters and the conduct of professionals in institutions in the case of addressing a deaf woman.

After the presentation, a discussion was opened emphasizing the importance of respecting the ethics code of interpreters when providing translation services to deaf women in a situation of violence (adequate preparation for the appropriate translation task, checking for obstacles in communication with the user, without giving ready advice and expressing own opinion in compliance with the principle of confidentiality of information).

The participants in the discussion were also interested in guidelines for the treatment of professionals in working with deaf users, which relate to providing basic information in an appropriate form (written, using sign language, adapted speech or through a sign language interpreter), eye contact with a woman with talk, the approach of sign language interpreters in all steps of treatment and respect for the dignity and privacy of women.

The most important conclusions of the discussion are: the need for greater sensitization of professionals in working with deaf women victims of violence; service providers don’t engage sign language interpreters in institutions for protection against domestic violence; sign language interpreter translation services are underpaid and it is necessary to work on informative empowerment of deaf women to recognize and report violence. As a first step in informing deaf women about recognizing and reporting violence, the participants were shown an audio-video presentation on violence in sign language partnerships, as well as two films Accessibility of violence protection services for women with disabilities and Support for women with disabilities who survived the violence.

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