The Deaf Bulletin 2018 Issue 4
23 September 2018 International Day of Sign Languages. By Barbra Nyangairi
Did you know that on the 19th of December 2017, the United Nations declared the 23rd of September as the International Day of Sign Languages? This day will be celebrated for the 1st time in 2018. The celebrations are running under the theme “With Sign Language everyone included.” This decision was made at a critical time for Zimbabwe when we are advocating for the operationalisation of the language rights in the Constitution.
Zimbabwe Sign Language remains largely undescribed, undocumented and under developed. The grammatical aspects of the language have not been studied. Zimbabwe has not developed a Sign Language syllabus yet there are Deaf children in schools who are being taught by teachers who cannot sign, living in homes where parents cannot sign, being citizens in their country with very little Sign Language exposure.
National programmes do not provide Sign Language or captions for the Deaf to be included. As we prepare to celebrate the International Day of Sign Languages in Zimbabwe, we anticipate that a Sign Language Syllabus will be developed and Sign Language will be operationalised . Deaf children and adults’ language rights should be protected and respected.
Other topics covered in this bulletin are:
- Disability inclusion in the fight against HIV/AIDS.
- Sign Language provision in Zimbabwe.