The Deaf Bulletin 2018 Issue 6
International Week of the Deaf 2018. By Lucia Masauso
This month, the Deaf community around the world celebrates the International Week of the Deaf from the 23rd to the 30th of September 2018 under the theme ‘With Sign Language Everyone is Included’. To me this year’s theme means Deaf people can participate in activities, provided there are interpreters. In Zimbabwe, Deaf people like myself are being left out. I have been excluded in my community because of the lack of Sign Language. Last year I decided to attend a community meeting with my neighbours. There was no interpreter at the meeting which made it impossible to follow what was being discussed.
My neigh-bour was kind enough to assist me by writing down what was being discussed. Unfortunately, she ran out of paper and decided to do what I hate the most, oral language. I was forced to nod and smile while strug-gling to lip read throughout the meeting. That was the last time I attended a community meeting.
The provision of Sign Language in public spaces makes us Deaf people feel comfortable and avoid embar-rassing situations. When I went to vote on the 30th of July, the official extended her hand so that I could give her my pinkie finger to mark. Since there was no interpreter to tell me what to do I just shook her hand in greeting thinking she was friendly enough to great me. You should have seen the look that she gave me! Many of my Deaf friends have had equally embarrassing experiences because without Sign Language, we have no way of knowing what to do. I really think organisations should include Sign Language in their activities to make Deaf people’s lives easier.
This month, I am encouraging everyone to learn a bit of Sign Language. It will go along way towards making society more inclusive. Please join the #SignMyNameChallenge by recording a video of yourself finger spelling your name and sending it to 0716777888. Visit our Facebook page Deaf Zimbabwe Trust for more information.
With Sign Language Everyone is Included!
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Other topics covered in this bulletin are:
- DZT at Harare Agricul-tural Show 2018 – Veronica Mwanza.
- Sign Language Training For Harare City Health- Precious Nkomo.
- Health Alert: Cholera