|▲Special Education Department students using sign language. (source: YouTube-Changwon National University)|
Recently, COVID-19 has caused people with disabilities to experience difficulties due to changes in their lifestyles. One of the ways COVID-19 has changed daily life is that it is mandatory that all visitors register themselves in a list at public locations. However, it is difficult for people with visual impairment to recognize the QR code within 15 seconds or to manually enter themselves in a list. In addition, the conversion to remote classes caused difficulties because most classes did not provide subtitles, making it impossible for people with hearing impairment to study in the same learning environment as the non-disabled. With these circumstances in mind, students of the special education department are holding activities in consideration of people with disabilities by creating a school song video for people with hearing impairment at the "walking together" event. I met Kim Soon-yeong, who demonstrated how to use sign language to sign with the school song.
Q : Please introduce yourself.
Kim : Hello, I am Kim Soon-yeong, a sophomore in the special education department of Changwon University.
Q : Why is it good to know the school song in sign language?
Kim : One way of communicating with people with hearing impairment is spoken language. They understand through lip reading. Since people are wearing masks due to COVID-19, people with hearing-impairment are experiencing more communication difficulties, so I created the sign language version of Changwon University's song.
Q : What was the process of making this video?
Kim : During winter vacation, I invited a teacher who majored in sign language and practiced signing to the school song. While practicing, I had a hard time signing accurately to the music, but with regular practice I was successful.
Q : Do you have any activities planned for the future related to people with disabilities? What kind of activities do you want to do?
Kim : There are no scheduled activities yet, but I would like to help conduct campaigns and public relations activities to improve the perception of people with disabilities in commemoration of the Day for People With Disabilities.
Q : Lastly, as a student of the Special Education Department, is there anything you want to tell the students at Changwon University?
Kim : April 20th is the Day for People With Disabilities. Currently, masks are making it difficult for people who are deaf to communicate because of COVID-19, and people with visual impairment are facing difficulties reading Braille due to the antibacterial films in elevators. We should all be concerned with accessibility for people with disabilities so that everyone can be equal. If we do, we will create a beautiful community which values respect and consideration.
Interviews have shown that disabled are experiencing inconveniences in many parts of their daily lives. It is everyone’s responsibility to learn about accessibility so that people who are disabled don’t have to face discrimination. Everyone's right to read and write, regardless of disability, must be fundamentally guaranteed. People with disabilities also have the right to communicate, such as the right to request and choose what they want, the right to exchange information, and the right to be respected as a member of society. The contents of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association are translated and edited by the special education department, and details can be found on the website of the special education department of Changwon University. People can also watch sign language videos on Changwon National University’s YouTube channel.
By An So-yeon, cub reporter firstname.lastname@example.org
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