JANUARY 30, 2017
BOGOTA, Colombia—The National Association of Sign-Language Translators/Interpreters and Interpreter Guides of Colombia, ANISCOL, along with two regional associations, gave Jehovah’s Witnesses an award for their sign-language materials during a national conference held on October 7-9, 2016. This was the first national conference organized for sign-language interpreters and interpreter guides, who render practical assistance to those who are both deaf and blind, in Colombia.
The Witnesses were invited to the conference to receive an award recognizing “their outstanding work in the production of religious material and their positive impact in the life of the Colombian deaf community.” Ricardo Valencia López, one of the organizers of the event and the president of the Association of Interpreters, Interpreter Guides, and Translators of Colombian Sign Language in the Coffee Axis, ASINTEC, further explains that Jehovah’s Witnesses were invited for having “contributed to the development of the profession by producing well-prepared material, which serves as an example when consulting and observing translation models.”
During the conference, the Witnesses gave a presentation describing their experiences as a translation and interpretation team. Their experiences were so well-received that the organizing committee gave the Witnesses an additional award in recognition of the outstanding comments their presentation generated.
Cristian David Valencia, a graphic and audiovisual designer from Pereira who attended the event, commented that he was “surprised to see that a religious community would have such a well-designed educational plan,” especially since the Witnesses are not paid for their work.
Wilson Torres, a spokesman for Jehovah’s Witnesses in Colombia, states: “We have been providing materials to local deaf communities since 2000. On our website alone, we now have over 400 videos designed for adults, teens, and children who use Colombian Sign Language. We will continue to provide such Bible-based materials free of charge, as we do with all of the literature we produce.”
Translation teams of Jehovah’s Witnesses around the globe produce and distribute numerous video publications in 88 sign languages. Jehovah’s Witnesses have also produced the JW Library Sign Language app that allows users to easily download, organize, and play sign-language videos from their official website, jw.org.
International: David A. Semonian, Office of Public Information, +1-845-524-3000
Colombia: Wilson Torres, +57-1-8911530