The hearing impaired people want more emphasis on sign language


DODOMA - People with hearing impairment in Dodoma have re-emphasized on the need for a new constitution to make sign language a constitutional matter so as to salvage the special group from being by-passed in many social affairs and other aspects of life.


The call was made in August when the special group convened in a forum organized by Dodoma Deaf Sports Association through the funding from the Foundation for Civil Society (FCS) to discuss the new constitution draft.

One of the participants, Kessy Yusuph, said the draft document does not adequately provide for use of sign language. He said there are many TV stations in the country but it is very unlikely that they can accommodate sign language interpreters in their programs. Kessy sees it as a big impediment towards enabling people with hearing impairment to follow on what is happening in the world.

"It is very unfortunate that we [hearing impaired people] can not enjoy the same rights to information just like other groups of people, especially when it comes to watching TV programs,” said Kessy.

 In the forum, the participants emphasized on the new constitution to promote the development and official use of sign language, Braille and other means of communication accessible to persons with disabilities.

They said there has already been many calls to include clauses in the new constitution to protect people with disabilities, but unfortunately concerns of people with hearing impairment, have not been adequately addressed.

The hearing impaired people allege that sign language has not been fully recognized in many walks of life. Thus, many people with hearing impairment are denied of their rights to information and education.

The use of sign language is regarded as the best solution to help reduce the communication barrier that exists among people with hearing impairment. I

Foundation funded twenty one organizations in Dodoma for holding constitutional forums.


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