A free sign language interpreting service has been launched in the velayats and the capital of Turkmenistan, which is provided to deaf or hard of hearing people to facilitate their communication with various organizations, including notaries, hospitals, banks and hyakimliks.
Last year, the USAID Turkmenistan Government Improvement Program (GSP) organized a month-long professional development course for sign language interpreters, and so far, seven sign language interpreters who have completed this training have begun providing free services in the field.
Free sign language translation services are provided in Ashgabat, Balkanabat, Bayramali, Dashoguz, Mary and Turkmenabad.
Sign language interpreters work in local branches of the Society of the Blind and Deaf of Turkmenistan (OSGT) five days a week. They provide in-office and out-of-office interpreting on a first-come, first-served basis.
In addition, sign language interpreters provide free consultations for those who wish to start learning sign language, according to a USAID press release.