Examination of Sign Language Education According to the Opinions of Members from a Basic Sign Language Certification Program
Pelin Piştav AkmeşeDepartment of Special Education, Faculty of Education, Ege University, Bornova, İzmir 35040 Turkey
Being hearing impaired limits one’s ability to communicate in that it affects all areas of development, particularly speech. One of the methods the hearing impaired use to communicate is sign language. This study, a descriptive study, intends to examine the opinions of individuals who had enrolled in a sign language certification program by using semi-structured interviews, a qualitative research technique. For this purpose, a semi-structured interview form was prepared and an expert’s opinion was received; 190 participants who had completed or were continuing their sign language education were contacted. In the process of data collection, 30% of participants were contacted and interviewed face-to-face. Participants’ opinions were divided into five main themes: their reason for joining sign language education, their determination of the place of sign language education in community life, the effect of sign language education in learning environments, examining sign language education programs regarding quality, and examining sign language education in regard to the qualifications of personnel and participants. The findings of this study are thought to be able to contribute to regulations regarding sign language education.