Jamaica Sign Language (JSL) Workshop

The Jamaica Association for the Deaf (JAD) has been pursuing the move towards a bilingual and bicultural education for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing students in our school system. To this end we have initiated a phase of re-learning for our teaching staff, orientation to the school system for potential Deaf teaching staff and engaging in experimental pedagogical activities. One of the major areas of focus is the composition of the native language of the Deaf in Jamaica – Jamaica Sign Language (JSL). April 14 - 16, 2003 has been set aside for professionals in the field to explore and learn basic features of JSL and the discussion of what linguistically constitutes JSL. The workshop will be facilitated by members of the Jamaican Deaf Community, resource persons associated with UWI , and consultants sourced through FAVACA , our Florida based volunteer support partner.
Date: April 14 – 16, 2003
Times: 8:30 – 4:00
Venue: Jamaica Conference Centre, corner of Port Royal & Duke Streets, Kingston
Cost: $2,500.00
$1,800.00 (Students)
(Please make cheques payable to: The Jamaica Association for the Deaf)


April 7, 2003

Target Audience: 

Personnel of local programmes for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing: Teachers, Deaf Culture Facilitators, Teacher’s Aides, Auxiliary Staff, Administrators, Board Members

Tertiary Students: Deaf and Hard of Hearing 

Other Interested Professionals & Tertiary Students: Special Education MOE Education Officers, Sign Language Interpreters, Social Workers, Linguists, Modern Languages & Linguistics Students


To engender a commitment among staff to use JSL in their instructional practices through increased facility and acceptance of JSL as a language of instruction


Participants in this workshop will be able to:

  1. Name at least 30 basic syntactic, semantic, lexical and word production features of JSL
  2. Identify at least 20 basic features of JSL from signed production
  3. Sign a short passage incorporating JSL features distinctly different from English
  4. Formulate an activity to demonstrate how JSL can be used in the classroom with Deaf and Hard of Hearing students

Topics to be covered:

  1. The Rules for Sign Dialogue
    Conversation rules
    Visual language conventions 
  2. Production and Organization of Signs
    Signing Space
  3. Relationships and Patterns of Production of Signs
  4. Sign Words and Word Relationships
    Word Families

Contact Information:

Mailing: Jamaica Association for the Deaf 
P.O. Box 178
Kgn 5
Email: khamilton@jamdeaf.org.jm
Phone: (876) 927 -1098 tele/fax
(876) 970 -1779

Registration Queries, Accommodation Queries, Workshop Information:

Khalaliah Hamilton