The Deaf Bulletin 2019 Issue 6
DZT hails sign language syllabus – By Tino Chikunya
Deaf Zimbabwe Trust Executive Director, Barbra Nyangairi has hailed the development of a sign language syllabus in Zimbabwe saying it is a positive step towards ensuring inclusivity for learners with disabilities. Speaking at the joint event of the Day of the African Child commemorations and the Inclusive Education Indaba in Mazowe District recently, Nyangairi said the sign language syllabus and the Inclusive education policy were progressive steps that would make an impact on the lives of learners.
“A sign language syllabus was developed for children from ECD to Grade 3 and an inclusive education policy is being generated however more needs to be done in advancing the lives of people with disabilities”.She added that it is important to take development initiatives outside Harare as it ensures that every child is catered for.“Many times, we focus on Harare and leave out children who live outside Harare yet every child is important and we should ensure that they are able to fulfill their potential by involving them on all platforms”.
Speaking at the same event Mashonaland Central Provincial Education Director, Naome Chikosha said lack of information on the part of parents and caregivers was a barrier to education for learners with disabilities. She highlighted that the Ministry of education had established instructional units across Mashonaland Central in mainstream schools as a way to ensure that learners with disabilities were fully integrated into society.
The commemorations which brought together different stakeholders ran under the theme, ‘Humanitarian Action in Africa: Children’s rights first’.
DZT embarks on Sexual Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) awareness – By Merlen Chamutinya
Deaf Zimbabwe Trust (DZT) has embarked on a sexual Reproductive Health Rights awareness program in a bid to bridge the information gap caused by the lack of science subjects for the deaf and hard of hearing. The program seeks to equip teenagers with information on how to handle challenges that arise from adolescence and also to educate them on the importance of inclusivity of persons with disabilities on developmental platforms.
The SRHR awareness program has seen the introduction of Sign Language Clubs in schools with Resource centers in Harare. The initiative has so far reached several schools including Danhiko Secondary school, Mufakose High 1, Chirodzo Primary School, Epworth Primary school and St Mary`s Primary school.
Deaf Zimbabwe Trust is moving towards the Sustainable Development Goal 2030. Goal 3:7 states that “by 2030 ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive healthcare services, including family planning, information, and education, and the integration of reproductive health into national strategies and programs”. Hence, DZT is using Sign Language Clubs as an institutional mechanism for equipping the Deaf Community with information.
DZT is aimed at advancing the rights of the deaf and hard of hearing students in Zimbabwe, helping them achieve their full potential by joining sign language clubs in schools. It is particularly important that Sign Language is used as the primary language in these schools. Hence, these sign language clubs have necessitated students to open up and share issues on some forms of abuse they are facing. Language performs a number of functions throughout an individual’s life. It sets the stage and is necessary for academic and social learning to occur. Hence by understanding its various forms and functions allows educators to better support the needs of deaf and hard of hearing learners, their families, and communities.
DZT spearheads the inclusion of persons with disabilities in dialogue processes – By Tino Chikunya
Deaf Zimbabwe Trust in partnership with the office of the National Advisor for Disability Issues in the office of the President held a workshop on dialogue processes for Persons with Disabilities in Harare recently. The two-day workshop sought to ensure inclusivity and accessibility of Persons with Disabilities in frameworks developed by the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission and also reflected and developed resolutions on key issues for Persons with Disabilities.
Deaf Zimbabwe Trust Executive Director Barbra Nyangairi said national conversations are important as they shape leadership roles in ensuring sustainable peace.“The workshop was very important for the leaders of the disability community because it allowed them to understand the importance of including Persons with Disabilities in secretariats of state institutions”.
She highlighted that access to processes for Persons with Disabilities is important as it ensures genuine inclusion and breaks barriers in the disability community.“Access is more than physical access but communication access is core to ensuring that information is provided in accessible and simplified formats”.Speaking at the same event, National Peace and Reconciliation Commission Chairman Justice Sello Nare said dialogue processes removed polarization and made people reach a common consensus-seeking state of mind.
“Inclusion of people with disabilities in Commissions is important as the commission benefits from the support of the disability community and commissions can also ensure that persons with disabilities exist in the democratic space of independent commissions”.Delegates called on the private sector to play an active role in dialogue processes as they are involved in influencing policy. The workshop delegates resolved that inclusion was to be realized through putting in place quotas for persons with disabilities to ensure representation in all platforms.
The delegates further resolved that there should be budgetary provisions, disaggregation and employment of persons with disabilities in commissions and women with disabilities need to be included in dialogue processes in order ensure equal participation of men and women with Disabilities. The workshop brought together leaders in the disability sector comprising of senators, umbrella bodies, various Ministries and the Media. DZT spearheads the inclusion of persons with disabilities in dialogue processes.