The Deaf Bulletin 2015 Issue 8
Deaf students and choice : Who determines their future and what future are we making ?.
A young Deaf lady came to Deaf Zimbabwe Trust on Tuesday. She told me that she wanted to write O levels. The only O level she had written was Art and she had passed. She had been moved to write HEXCO. I asked her why she had not written O level and she started crying. She said she had been told that Deaf people do not pass and so it was a waste of time to write O level. She cried for a while as she remembered the hurt she had felt when she was told she could not write O level.
She wanted to write her O levels and go to college. No one asked what she wanted to do in her life, no one asked her what her dreams were and a choice was made by someone in authority that would affect the rest of her life and her children’s life.
As I looked at her, I thought about the many Deaf people who have been denied an opportunity to do and achieve their potential. Who had been denied a chance to dream? Their dreams have been killed because they are “Deaf”. They were denied a chance to choose, to try and to see if they could make it, why because they are Deaf therefore they are denied a choice, they do not have agency and the non-Deaf community dictates what they can do or cannot do.
Deaf and the Law.
In law there is a principle that says ignorance of the law is not an excuse. If you get arrested for something you cannot defend yourself with an excuse of not being aware of what the law states.In every country, laws are a way of maintaining peace and justice. Going against these laws will result in arrest by the police pending trial.
There are obvious crimes like stealing, killing and rape which are quite common in our society. However there are some crimes are not so obvious. For instance, if someone owes you money but fails to pay you back and you decide to take their property with the intention of giving back their property after they have paid back your money, you may be arrested for doing this. Under Zimbabwean law, this is a crime. It is not a criminal offense to owe someone money and the police cannot handle such cases. These are civil matters that can be resolved under civil court.
Recently, there was an incident that involved 2 Deaf people. One of those Deaf people owns a business and he asked the other Deaf boy to help him in his shop and promised to pay him after he had finished the job. Unfortunately the business owner did not pay the young Deaf boy.
Having realised that the Deaf business man would not pay the money he owed, the young Deaf boy went to the shop where he had been working and attached some material belonging to the business owner. Deaf businessman went and reported to the police that this boy had taken his material. The police arrested the boy.
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Other topics covered in this bulletin are:
- Sustainable Development Goals, do they hold anything for the Deaf youths.
- Increase Deaf people access to health; MSF staff members learn sign language.
- Breaking Barriers.
- World literacy day: The 8th of September 2015.