The Convocation Ceremony has always been a wonderful experience for the graduates that is often shared with loved ones. Recognizing the impact of the convocation on its graduates, Universiti Malaya for the first time introduced the services of sign language interpreter which were included throughout its live broadcast.
According to the Chairman of the Universiti Malaya Convocation Steering Committee, Prof. Ir. Dr. Noor Azuan Abu Osman, this step can help graduates and spectators with hearing impairments to follow the convocation proceedings better.
"Universiti Malaya always strives to provide the best experience for all of its stakeholders especially the students and their loved ones. We want to include everyone to experience everything that we have to offer, as best as we can, and ensure that no one is being left out.
“This effort can be considered as one to improve the quality of our services in the context of organizing this convocation ceremony. More important, it is consistent with two of our core values which are oneness and empathy."
He also conveyed a heartfelt appreciation to the Malaysian Federation of the Deaf for its cooperation to provide expert sign language interpreters.
“Cooperation like this are always appreciated and can be seen as proof that the partnership between universities and other organisations can have a direct positive impact on society. It is in line with our goal to serve the country and make an impact on the world," he added.
The team of sign language interpreters were headed by two experts, Wan Zuraidah Abu and Goh Soo Leng who provided the service on a rotating basis. Wan Zuraidah and Goh Soo Leng, who each have decades of accumulated experience as sign language interpreters, were glad that Universiti Malaya took the initiative to introduce sign language on a highly prestigious event such as the convocation ceremony.
“We felt that what Universiti Malaya is implementing is very good, especially in terms of the opportunity given to create an inclusive environment. In addition to that, Universiti Malaya observed the correct format and measurement for on-screen display of interpreters, which I think is good and fulfill the requirements of our target audience,” Zuraidah said.
According to Goh Soo Leng, facilities for the deaf are something that is normally not fully provided by most institutions.
“Normally, on an event such as this, we can see that the organisers will cater for the needs of the visually impaired and also the physically impaired. This effort is a commendable one as it extended Universiti Malaya’s accessibility provision to another group.”
A total of 7,682 graduates comprising 454 Doctoral Degree graduates, 2,318 Master's Degree graduates including Postgraduate Diploma in Education, 3,940 Bachelor's Degree graduates, and 970 Advanced Diploma, Executive Diploma and Diploma graduates were celebrated at the 61st Convocation Ceremony.
Of that number, one graduate is deaf, two are visually impaired and three are wheelchair-bound graduates.
Live broadcasts of each conference are available through the Universiti Malaya's official social media platforms such as Facebook and YouTube.