Law enforcers, ward officers learn sign language

Police officers, medical doctors and ward executives in Ilemela District have completed a seven-day training on the sign language conducted by experts from the Tanzania Deaf Association (Chavita) through funds from Foundation for Civil Society.

The training facilitator Mr Henry Mtasiwa, said the training was aimed at empowering the officers with skills that would enable them to communicate easily with people with hearing disability in the course of their duties.
“We are not dumb or deaf as people prefer to address us, the best name for us is people with hearing problems and we are human beings, therefore this training will also help the officers to campaign for us against this stigmatization,” said Mr Mtasiwa.

Additionally, Devotha Mtesigwa, a teacher at Bwiru Boys Secondary School, said the training on sign language should involve schools as teachers often face a communication barrier when dealing with students with hearing disability.
“There are over 50 students in my school with the hearing problem. We need sign language experts to help them understand what their teachers teach them,” she said.

For her part, Ilemela District Commissioner Amina Masenza said district authorities will look into the possibility of establishing a special school for people and pupils with the hearing disability in the district.

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