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September 27, 2003

International Day for Hearing Impaired Persons

From: Daily News, Sri Lanka - 27, 2003

A message from: Al Haj N. Jiffry Hanifa, the director of the Islamic Centre for the Physically Handicapped and the District Chairman of Hearing and Speech Action of the International Lions Club District 306B.

The International day for Hearing Impaired Persons 2003 is held on the fourth Sunday of September every year. It is an extremely important day for the deaf community all over the world.

Deaf people, whether from birth, through an accident or a disease, face the problem of a lack of communication. Developed countries provide the support necessary to allow hearing impaired persons to live normal lives. However, in Sri Lanka, very few deaf pupils reach university level; not because they are less able physically or mentally but because of the lack of facilities and attention given to them.

If deaf pupils are allowed to communicate with the world through the use of hearing aids, speech therapy or through being taught sign language they can grow and become well adjusted adults. Therefore, it is our responsibility to change the attitudes of people regarding hearing impaired persons and their capabilities, and to work towards providing these vital services to the deaf students of our country.

One important step in helping the hearing impaired students of Sri Lanka is to create a national sign language dictionary to allow effective communication between the deaf community and others. Thus allowing them to communicate with the wider community, therefore improving their social skills and awareness and opening new avenues.

I would like to use this special day to propose that we create a national sign language dictionary.

As the Director of an institute that educates mostly deaf students, and as the District Chairman of Hearing and Speech Action of the International Lions Club District 306B, my wish is that we can work together to increase awareness and improve the rights of the young hearing impaired persons of Sri Lanka.

Copyright © 2003 The Associated Newspapers of Ceylon Ltd.