DEAF people have complained that government is not doing enough to protect their rights.
BY ALOIS VINGA
Deaf Zimbabwe Trust executive director Barbara Nyangairi said deaf people were being sidelined from enjoying the most basic rights enshrined in the Constitution.
She said this year’s International Week of the Deaf commemorations which were recently held in the country, came at a time government had not yet implemented provisions of the new Constitution to ensure the accessibility of Sign Language in schools, hospitals, the courts and all public spaces.
“While we commend the fact that our nation is one of the few countries in Africa where Sign Language has legal recognition as an official language, we remain concerned that the realisation of linguistic rights by the deaf community remains unattained due to lack of implementation of constitutional provisions,” Nyangairi said.
She called on the Primary and Secondary Education ministry to urgently develop a Sign Language syllabus to help in the teaching and development of the language.
Nyangairi said families of deaf children and the society at large must learn Sign Language and promote its use to facilitate communication with the deaf.
The World Deaf Federation estimates that about 80 000 people in Zimbabwe suffer from hearing impairments yet there are limited facilities at most social services centres like schools and hospitals.