Independent Living Workshop
16 March 2009


Several local and Japanese disability groups organized a workshop today on independent living for people with disabilities, an untried concept in Cambodia.  Representing the Ministry of Social Affairs was H.E. Sem Sokha.

H.E. Sem Sokha speaking

At the first break, a young deaf woman from Japan (second, left) introduced herself to Phirom (white shirt) and Tashi Bradford (red shirt). With the Japanese woman was a communications aide (left).

Meeting a Japanese deaf woman

Later we were together again and made plans for four of the Japanese delegation to visit the Deaf Development Programme tomorrow.

Talking at the break

Phirom is one of our senior sign language interpreters at DDP.  He was called to duty without warning this morning when it developed that there was no English interpreting at the workshop as had been promised.

Phirom interpreting

Instead of using a sign language interpreter, the Japanese deaf woman had a communications aide who repeated the speaker's words into her headset microphone and then voice recognition software converted the speech to written Japanese on the laptop screen.

Interpreting through transcription

The featured speaker in the workshop was Mr. Kastuya Fujiwara, a quadraplegic man from Japan who also uses a ventilator.  He added commentary to a video showing his daily life and then answered questions.

A speaker from Japan
Group photo at the end

17 March 2009

As a follow-up to the workshop, two of the Japanese participants visited the office of the Deaf Development Programme in Phnom Penh.  Here Tashi Bradford explains the DDP staff structure to them.

Tashi explaining the DDP structure

Upstairs, the visitors met the sign language development team that Tashi heads.

Meeting the sign language team

After visiting other offices and classrooms, the visitors ended their tour of DDP in the office of Keat Sokly, the DDP manager, and Charlie Dittmeier, the director.

Visitors with Sokly and Charlie

Go to Activities page on DDP website
Go to Charlie Dittmeier's home page