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KommBi is an education and communication centre for the Deaf, Hard of Hearing and CI recipients. The project name consists of the two words „Kommunikation“ for communication and „Bildung“ for education and was founded in 2007 by sign language interpreter Sabine Egg. In 2010 the project got its first deaf project leader in the Tyrol who till today is Monika Mück-Egg.
It's a project under the regional association for the deaf associations in the Tyrol which is responsible for the project management and its developement. Therefore KommBi is a part of a network of associations for the promotion of employment and the occupational integration of people who are deaf, hard of hearing or CI recipients. The project „KommBi“ is supported and sponsored by the ministry for social affairs in the Tyrol / Austria (Sozialministeriumservice).
To achieve these aims, KommBi offers a wide variety of courses for the target group, workshops to senstizie and raise awareness among co-workers, as well as sign language classes. Furthermore, KommBi develops their own learning materials and implement visual learning methods for these courses. And since the project was founded already two vocational training programmes for sign language teachers were provided.
Course offers are divided in 4 different fields, but are often combined:
- individualized training courses
- evening and weekend courses
- In-House-Workshops to sensitize coworkers and raising awareness in the working environments of the target group
- sign language classes
Individualized training courses are adapted to the individual needs and personal possibilities. Group size and duration of the course is varying and can be individually arranged as well. Participants either work one on one with the trainer or in small groups. Depending on the participants work place and the individual needs, topics and course contents for the individualized training courses are created.
Evening and weekend courses are offered regularly to improve knowledge for the benefit of the client´s working environment.
In-House-Workshops to sensitize coworkers and raise awareness in the workplaces of the affected persons for their different needs in the working field and to promote communication by giving advice, is a very important part of the project. The workshops are always held by deaf experts in sign language accompanied by a sign language interpreter, they are free of charge and take about 1,5 to 2 hours. It is important to show role models and see a deaf expert talking about issues in the working field, to raise awareness for deaf coworkers and overcome prejudices about them not beeing able to work equally as their hearing colleagues. Nevertheless it is most important giving them communicational skills which are most often easy to implement, when rules are given. The aim is to promote and strengthen barrier-free and comprehensible communication.
In-House Sign language classes for colleagues of Deaf, Hard of Hearing or CI recipients are adapted to the workplace and specialist area. The employees benefit from the given opportunity to improve their communication skills by learning another language for being able to chat with their hearing impaired colleagues.
Other sign language classes focus on almost everyone who wants to learn sign language such as social workers, students, relatives and familiy members of deaf people or hearing coworkers and colleagues of deaf people. But sign language classes also can be held as individualized training courses for example for hearing impaired migrants adapted to their special needs and level of learning.
The multiprofessional team of two deaf and two hearing staff members is well balanced. Additionally honorary trainers, who are all sign language competent, most of them deaf themselves, are also working for KommBi. When finishing a course a certificate is issued for each participant containing exact details of the type, the length and the time the course took, so it proofs the additional qualification and can be used for the working place.