By Rehema Naggujja
Uganda joins the rest of the world to commemorate the international deaf week which is celebrated in the third week of September every year.
The celebrations increase unity among the deaf communities and families , raise awareness and fight stigma and discrimination against deaf persons.
“As we observe this day, it is important to note that deaf persons play an important role in development of this nation and should be accorded the necessary support to enable them participate in development process on an equal basis with all other Ugandans”. HON. Asamo Hellen Grace Minister Of Gender, Labour And Social Development said.
This years theme is “ celebrating thriving deaf communities we sign for human rights” although some def persons have beaten the odds to become successful in life. It highlight the fact that that some studied , got employed in government and private campanies as well as becoming self employed thus individual thriving and communities.
The minister emphasized the use of sign laugage in communications with deaf persons as their right.
The total percentage of people with disabilities is 12.4% with 3.1% persons with hearing imparment according to Uganda bureau of statistics .
The deaf persons were able to form an association the (Uganda National Association of the Deaf) which advocate for rigts of deaf persons, increase awareness and to lobby and advocate for the needs and rights of deaf persons in Uganda.
“It is my pleasure to inform you that persons with diabilities Act2020 is being translated into audio and visual formats and will have all provisions in the law signed as per the Uganda sign laungage dictionary. This is great achievement that will go along away in in creating awareness and disseminating the law addition . additionally, my ministry is almost finalizing the process of developing regulations to operationalise this Act”. Minister Hellen added
There is need for special schools and policy for deaf persons because the one who are available are not enough cater for the number of deaf persons in the country.
She further implored all ugandans to mark the Deaf Awareness Week through acts that promote the inclusion of Deaf Persons and this should be continued even after this week as aseries of events with the climax happening in Arua on Friday 24th September 2021. The activities include a training on access to the National Special Grant for Persons with Disabilities, radio and TV talk shows, among others.