The Situation of Children who are Deaf in Harare April 2015

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“Deaf people can do anything that hearing people can do except hear so they deserve the same opportunities”, Marlee Matlin

Deaf Zimbabwe Trust is an organisation that supports Deaf and hard of hearing people in attaining independent and sustainable livelihoods. The prevalence of Deafness in Zimbabwe is very significant, with Zimstats1 reporting that approximately 1 500 000 people are Deaf in Zimbabwe. Further evidence shows that a significant portion of these are young people of school going age. While Deaf people represent a significant portion of people with disabilities, there is limited Deaf specific research on the situation of Deaf adults and children in Zimbabwe.

In order to understand the situation of children who are Deaf and to advocate for appropriate interventions, Deaf Zimbabwe Trust commissioned a baseline study to understand the situation of Deaf children in Harare. The baseline would provide information that would enable policy makers, civil society as well as understand the challenges faced by children who are Deaf. Disability is not homogeneous and the needs of children who are Deaf are unique and there is need for these special considerations. The study was conducted in the following areas: Dzivarasekwa, Kuwadzana, Mabvuku, Tafara, Epworth, Tynworld, Budiriro, Glen View, Glen Norah, Mbare, Waterfalls, Mbare, High field and Kambuzuma.

The study revealed a number of problems faced by children who are Deaf of school going and those out of school but of school going age. Children who are Deaf face numerous problems in various spheres including education, discrimination in the home and in the community, neglect in the school system and inability to advance in their educational career. These affect the children's opportunities in adult life and capacity to live sustainable adult lives.

About DZT

Deaf Zimbabwe Trust was formed and registered as a trust in 2012 and began operations in 2013. Initially the organisation was formed to advance the rights of Deaf children.

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