Deaf Awareness Month honoured

2015-09-24 06:00

SEPTEMBER is Deaf Awareness Month and Nompendulo Ngubane spoke to audiologist Ntombifuthi Mkhize to find out what it means to deaf people and those who are blind. Mkhize said people living with deafness and blindness are faced with the challenge of being accepted in their communities.

“Awareness means to ring a bell in order to alert the individuals, families, communities, as well as the nation that there are people who are deaf and blind living among us.

“This means we need to recognise and accept them. We will only be able to do this by understanding their condition, how they acquired it, how it could possibly have been prevented and how to live a normal life with these handicaps.”

The reason behind the struggle of acceptance is proper education with regards to being deaf and blind.

“Being cursed is one stigma around deafness and blindness. Communities don’t understand the way they should communicate with them. In some cases families do not know sign language or how to use braille. However, in this century it is starting to change, but it is still a long walk. Government and non-governmental institutions are trying their best. We are now starting to see the curriculum changing to accommodate them.

There are even structures in the government representing this group of people so that their voices could be heard like any other human beings. They now have rights, for example, the right to health, live, the right to express themselves without fear. and education,” said Mk

Things to note:

•If you see or feel something in your ear or eye that you do not understand, consult a professional rather than trying to treat it yourself or ignoring it.

•Do not expose yourself to conditions that can harm you, for example, expose yourself to loud sounds, inserting foreign objects in your ears. All these could result in the loss of hearing.

•Take advice seriously and always ask if you are unsure what to do

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