New building, no barriers: KIT construction graduates employed for Te Toa Matoa Resource Centre build
May 6, 2020
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Biira Tiito and Kamoaa Kaiuea are alumni of Kiribati Institute of Technology’s (KIT) construction courses and also identify as Deaf and/or hard of hearing. These courses enabled Biira and Kamoaa to be employed with the construction team working on the new Te Toa Matoa (TTM) Resource Centre.
The Australian Government funded Kiribati Facility encompasses the Skills for Employment Program (SfEP), delivered through KIT, which supports inclusive skills training for people with disabilities.
Biira undertook KIT’s Certificate II in Construction, supported by one of his classmates who can communicate using Kiri Sign Language. Kamoaa participated in a number of short construction courses specifically tailored to support the skills development of I-Kiribati who are Deaf or hard of hearing. KIT delivers these courses with partners Kiribati Deaf Association (KDA) and the Kiribati School and Centre for Children with Special Needs (KSCCSN).
KDA continue to support inclusion at KIT through their sign language classes delivered to KIT staff. These classes help prepare lecturers to teach students who are Deaf or hard of hearing and use Kiri Sign to communicate.
The Australian government funded Resource Centre for TTM is currently under construction and is being designed to have accessibility features for its members including a women’s and men’s workplace.
Representatives from the Government of Kiribati’ Ministry of Women Youth Sports and Social Affairs (MWYSSA) and the TTM Centre formed an agreement with KIT to employ two graduates with disabilities. Biira and Kamoa were identified by KIT Inclusion and Equity Officer, Meere Maere, as the candidates for the job and have since commenced their employment on the construction site.
Biira and Kamoaa are assisted on site by their classmate and sign language interpreter Botoariki Taranibeia, who worked with both graduates during their KIT construction courses. Biira and Kamoaa are able to converse with each other using Kiri Sign Language, and Botoariki’s presence ensures the capacity for two-way communication with other work colleagues on site.
KIT Student Support Officer, Taonibeia Mwakuti, recently conducted a site visit to see how the KIT alumni are finding their new employment. Biira and Kamoaa have reported positive reviews of their employment experience.
The construction activities include; window framing, brick laying, cement mixing and brick cutting. The foreman on the TTM Resource Centre construction site indicated that both graduates have the required skills for the job and are making a great contribution to the team.