The Zambia Agency for Persons with Disability (ZAPD) has expressed worry at the increased number of sign language interpreters who have commercialized the language.
ZAPD Director General, Charles Mwape says interpreters have abused the language and are making profit out of it at the expense of the deaf.
He says government, in conjunction with the agency, is working towards developing a policy that will regulate the conduct of interpreters so that sign language is not abused.
Dr. Mwape said this when his organization conducted a familiarization tour of the Zambia National Association of the Deaf (ZNAD) offices in Lusaka today.
He said government will also start issuing practicing licenses to sign language interpreters so that people can begin to respect sign language in the country.
Dr. Mwape further said that the agency through the Ministry of Community development has written to the Ministry of Health to start training HIV/AIDS counselors and nurses in sign language so that they can attend to the deaf without any difficulties.
He said this will enable the deaf access HIV/AIDS information and Voluntary Counseling Testing without fear of stigmatization.
And ZNAD Executive Director, James Kapembwa, called for the recognition of the deaf in communities.
Mr. Kapembwa, who was speaking through an interpreter, said it has been difficult for the deaf to communicate with other people in communities because there is no proper culture that they can be identified with.