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August 23, 2004

Deaf Train in Sign Language

From:, Africa - Aug 23, 2004

New Vision (Kampala)
August 23, 2004

By Joseph Orisa Kampala

The Uganda National Association of the Deaf (UNAD) has concluded a one-week training in basic sign language skills for over 35 deaf people in Karamoja, with a call to them to demand for their rights.

Addressing participants at St Phillips Community centre Moroto on Wednesday, UNADS information officer Joseph Mbulamwana said the deaf in Karamoja were marginalised and excluded from almost all government development programmes, including the Universal Primary Education.

He said in all the three districts of Karamoja, there was no single school for the deaf and yet some districts in central Uganda had more than one, thus denying them their right to education.

"Deaf children in Karamoja are not attending school and there are no qualified teachers in most schools. Even the medical personnel lack skills to attend to these people," Mbulamwana said, using sign language.

He said most information like on HIV AIDS and other developmental programmes was given through radios and newspapers.

He said the deaf in Karamoja were very poor.

He urged local governments in Karamoja and the education ministry to introduce a pilot school for the deaf.

UNAD vice-chairperson Agnes Aserait challenged persons with disability in Karamoja to form an organisation to advocate their rights.

Copyright © 2004 New Vision. All rights reserved.