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A group of young people have launched the Namibian Association of Sign Language Interpreters to advocate for the right to sign language interpretation and accessibility to information.

The Namibian Association of Sign Language Interpreters (NASLI) is registered with the Ministry of Health and Social Services.

The association is aimed at developing and implementing policies and guidelines for sign language interpreters, providing information to interpreters, providing interpretation services for the deaf community, and providing training in this regard.

Chairperson Wilbard Matias says the association would also promote research into areas of importance to interpreters and the deaf community.

"The Founding Members of NASLI have worked tirelessly and for the most part, voluntarily to establish NASLI with the aim of improving standards of service within our profession and to raise awareness of sign language interpreting within the deaf and mainstream communities  in order to achieve high levels of recognition and provision where possible."

NASLI is a membership-based organisation that encourages members to maintain and enhance their practice through continuous professional development.

The organisation wants to develop a pool of mentors who have undergone training specifically developed for those working in the interpretation field.

The organisation was launched under the slogan "the hand that speaks," and it is currently housed at the Disability Resources Centre in Okuryangava, Windhoek.

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Lucy Nghifindaka