International Conference on Sign Linguistics
and Deaf Education in Asia

30 January to 3 February 2013

The Centre for Sign Linguistics and Deaf Studies at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, with the sponsorship of the Nippon Foundation, organized a four-day International Conference on Sign Linguistics and Deaf Education in Asia at CUHK. Because Krousar Thmey and the Deaf Development Programme are the only two groups working with sign language in Cambodia, they were invited to participate in the conference.


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The trip to Hong Kong got off to a difficult start when DragonAir refused to allow us to board the flight if we did not have the original credit card used for purchasing the tickets. The tickets were bought for us in New York so we did not have the credit card and we had to pay again for the tickets on the spot in order to continue our journey.

In Hong Kong, a van was waiting to take us to the Royal Park Hotel in Shatin, Hong Kong where most of the guests stayed. Tommie Sarchet, (left) the associate director of the P-CEN program at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf in Rochester, New York and the organizer of our participation, waited up until after midnight to welcome us to the hotel and give us an introduction to the next day's activities.
Arriving in Hong Kong

The next morning we joined with participants from another ten or fifteen countries to travel from the hotel to Chinese University of Hong Kong. Here we are waiting on the platform for the subway train to the university campus.
On the subway platform

In the lecture hall
The group from Cambodia did not know many of the other participants and started off sitting together in the lecture hall used for the presentations. (L-R): Touch Sophy (education project manager at DDP), Hang Kim Chhorn (deaf education coordinator of Krousar Thmey), Lek Sin Rithy (program manager of DDP)

The lecture hall
The presentations were made in a large university lecture hall with dual projection screens, infra-red simultaneous interpreting headsets, and a large number of sign language interpreters for the various home languages of all the participants.

Conference participants
At any given time, about eight to ten sign language interpreters were relaying the speaker's message to the people from the different countries. The interpreters in the foreground were interpreting into Sri Lankan Sign Language.

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