So, is sign language marketable in Kenya?
That is the question I will be answering in this article and I hope that it will help you make an informed decision if you’re thinking about taking a sign language course in Kenya.
Let’s dive in..
Is sign language marketable in Kenya?
From my assessment, I can say that sign language is fairly marketable in Kenya.
I’m saying fairly marketable because the jobs are not as many as they used to be a couple of years back (There was a time a lot of organizations hired sign language interpreters in Kenya).
The bottom line is taking a sign language course may not give you a job if you depend on it alone.
Instead, I advise you to consider taking this course as a way of backing up a Post-secondary education course like Diploma in special needs education/social sciences/ or any other relevant field.
Okay, there are cases where a sign language course will on its own be enough to land you a good job but these are few and far between so I highly recommend you learn sign language in Kenya as a support course.
Having answered your “Is sign language marketable in Kenya?” question, let us now look at your options when it comes to sign language courses in Kenya.
We shall also reveal the names of the best sign language schools in Kenya
Sign language courses in Kenya – Which courses can you take?
Below are the courses you can take and sign language courses requirements in Kenya:
Certificate in sign language
Certificate in KSL (Kenya sign language) proficiency level is the entry level course for those who would like to work as sign language interpreters in Kenya.
The curriculum enhances sign language interpretation skills/craft for hearing interpreters and anyone who is deaf.
Here are the required grades:
Minimum Entry Requirements
None (The course is open to anyone who has an interest)
Note that in institutions such as the government-sponsored Karen Technical Training Institute for the Deaf, the course is sub-divided into three levels as follows:
- Advanced (level III)
- Intermediate (level II)
- Elementary (Beginners level I)
Each level takes 3 months to complete.
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Diploma in sign language
The course prepares you to communicate with as well as interpret for individuals who are deaf / hard of hearing.
Minimum Entry Requirements
To be admitted into the Diploma in KSL( Kenyan Sign Language) Interpretation course, you must meet the following basic requirements:
KCSE Aggregate: C-
Other acceptable Qualifications
You can also be allowed to join with any of these qualifications:
- Certificate in KSL (proficiency level) +English/Kiswahili or any local/foreign languages (proficiency level)
For deaf applicants, you can be accepted if you have the following qualifications:
- KCSE mean grade: C- along with a C- (minus) in English or a pass in English proficiency administered by an accredited institution.
Course duration: 1 academic year (this comprises three semesters)
Colleges offering sign language courses in Kenya
Here now are some of the best-known sign language schools in Kenya (consider enrolling in any one of them):
Kenya Institute of Foreign Languages and Professional Studies(KIFLAPS)
Location: Kenda House, along Tom Mboya Street, Nairobi
Call: 0710 462063
Kenya Institute Of Special Education
This is one of the best sign language schools in Kenya and you cannot go wrong with them.
They offer a certificate in sign language course among other special needs courses.
Location: Kasarani, off Thika Superhighway (Exit 8), along Kasarani-Mwiki Rd
Call: 020 8007977 / 0724 269 505
Kenya Institute of Development Studies
KIDS is another good option for the Kenyan Sign Language certificate course.
Physical location: Tumaini House, Floor 5/6, Moi Avenue, Nairobi
Call: 0725 857976
The Language School Kenya
Physical location: Chania Avenue, Nairobi
Call: 0703 228840
Karen Technical Training Institute for the Deaf
This is another excellent government sponsored training institute offering sign language course in Kenya.
Physical location: Karen Road, Nairobi
Call: 0722 677859
Pro-Terp Sign Language Training Centre
Physical location: Thika, Mombasa, Meru, Nairobi, Kisumu, Kilifi
Call: 0740 943965
Horizon Sign Language Training Centre-Nakuru
If you are in Nakuru, try Horizon Sign Language Training Centre.
Here are their contacts:
Physical location: Ministry Of Public Works offices(opposite KFA building), Nakuru
Call: 0799 030 547.
Pinnacle Institute for Sign Language& Disability Access
Physical location: Gatakaini Investment House no. 2,3rd Floor (Room 310) Tom Mboya St, Nairobi
Call: 0718420900 (whatsapp or send SMS to 0702388413)
St Pauls University
Visit St Paul’s University if you want to take a Diploma in sign language.
Here are their contacts:
Physical location: Church House, along Haile Selassie Avenue, Nairobi
Call: 0701 079407
Sign language course fee in Kenya
The fee ranges from Kshs.25000 for the certificate to Kshs.100,000 for a Diploma depending on where you go for your studies.
Keep in mind that some institutions offer hybrid learning (part online, part face-to-face).
Other important skills/qualifications you might need
There are some skills/certificates that can help you land a well-paying job.
- A certificate in computer proficiency (Being computer savvy can be a big plus)
- Knowledge/skills in brail writing as well as reading (this is another added advantage)
Career opportunities for holders of sign language course
- Sign Language Interpreter
- Customer Service Advisor (with Sign Language Interpretation skills)
Where can you find work?
Your potential employers include:
- International development organizations
- County governments
- Government departments/agencies like Kenya Revenue Authority and the judiciary
- Academic institutions
- Media houses
- Religions institutions