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アフリカ障害者の10年 African Decade of Persons with Disabilities 2014年7月〜9月


アフリカアフリカ Africa 2019



Gender in Africa
ケニア共和国 Republic of Kenya 大統領選挙と騒乱
日本・ブラジル・モザンビーク三角協力プロジェクトPro SAVANAを問う
アルジェリア民主人民共和国アンゴラ共和国ウガンダ共和国エジプト・アラブ共和国エスワティニ王国(旧:スワジランド王国)エチオピア連邦民主共和国エリトリア国ガーナ共和国カーボヴェルデ共和国ガボン共和国カメルーン共和国ガンビア共和国ギニア共和国ギニアビサウ共和国ケニア共和国コートジボワール共和国コモロ連合コンゴ共和国コンゴ民主共和国サハラ・アラブ民主共和国サントメ・プリンシペ民主共和国ザンビア共和国シエラレオネ共和国ジンバブエ共和国スーダン共和国スペイン領カナリア諸島セーシェル共和国赤道ギニア共和国セネガル共和国ソマリア民主共和国タンザニア連合共和国チャド共和国チュニジア共和国中央アフリカ共和国トーゴ共和国ナイジェリア連邦共和国ナミビア共和国ニジェール共和国ブルキナファソブルンジ共和国ベナン共和国ボツワナ共和国マダガスカル共和国マラウイ共和国マリ共和国南アフリカ共和国南スーダン共和国モーリシャス共和国モーリタニア・イスラム共和国モザンビーク共和国モロッコ王国リビア(旧 大リビア・アラブ社会主義人民ジャマーヒリーヤ国)リベリア共和国ルワンダ共和国レソト王国

○2007年までのニュース・情報  アフリカ障害者の10年 〜2007年
○2008年1月〜3月のニュース・情報  アフリカ障害者の10年 2008年 1
○2008年4月〜6月のニュース・情報  アフリカ障害者の10年 2008年 2
○2008年7月〜9月のニュース・情報  アフリカ障害者の10年 2008年 3
○2008年10月〜12月のニュース・情報  アフリカ障害者の10年 2008年 4
○2009年1月〜6月のニュース・情報  アフリカ障害者の10年 2009年1月〜6月
○2009年7月〜9月のニュース・情報  アフリカ障害者の10年 2009年7月〜9月
○2009年10月〜12月のニュース・情報  アフリカ障害者の10年 2009年10月〜12月
○2010年1月〜3月のニュース・情報  アフリカ障害者の10年 2010年1月〜3月
○2010年4月〜6月のニュース・情報  アフリカ障害者の10年 2010年4月〜6月
○2010年7月〜9月のニュース・情報  アフリカ障害者の10年 2010年7月〜9月
○2010年10月〜12月のニュース・情報  アフリカ障害者の10年 2010年10月〜12月
○2011年1月〜3月のニュース・情報  アフリカ障害者の10年 2011年1月〜3月
○2011年4月〜6月のニュース・情報  アフリカ障害者の10年 2011年4月〜6月
○2011年7月〜9月のニュース・情報  アフリカ障害者の10年 2011年7月〜9月
○2011年10月〜12月のニュース・情報  アフリカ障害者の10年 2011年10月〜12月
○2012年1月〜3月のニュース・情報  アフリカ障害者の10年 2012年1月〜3月
○2012年4月〜6月のニュース・情報  アフリカ障害者の10年 2012年4月〜6月
○2012年7月〜9月のニュース・情報  アフリカ障害者の10年 2012年7月〜9月
○2012年10月〜12月のニュース・情報  アフリカ障害者の10年 2012年10月〜12月
○2013年1月〜3月のニュース・情報  アフリカ障害者の10年 2013年1月〜3月
○2013年4月〜6月のニュース・情報  アフリカ障害者の10年 2013年4月〜6月
○2013年7月〜9月のニュース・情報  アフリカ障害者の10年 2013年7月〜9月
○2013年10月〜12月のニュース・情報  アフリカ障害者の10年 2013年10月〜12月
○2014年1月〜3月のニュース・情報  アフリカ障害者の10年 2014年1月〜3月
○2014年4月〜6月のニュース・情報  アフリカ障害者の10年 2014年4月〜6月
○最新のニュース・情報  アフリカ障害者の10年

* 主としてアジア経済研究所の「障害と開発」メーリングリストで紹介された記事を収録しています。
  アジア経済研究所 森壮也
* 新聞記事は、ウェブサイトへの掲載期間が限られています。ウェブで見あたらなくなったら縮刷版、専用データベースなどで内容を確認してください。

* 幅広く多種多様な情報を紹介しています。情報源、情報が発せられた状況などに留意しながら活用してください。

* 一部記事についてはもう少し詳しく紹介できます。関心を持ったら、saito@ajf.gr.jpへ連絡下さい。

◆2014/07/01 GhanaWeb Students call for interpreters for deaf patients in hospitals
◆2014/07/01 AllAfrica.com Africa: Focus On Disability - Delivering Mobile Phones' Promise
◆2014/07/02 Zambia Daily Mail Holistic support vital for disabled people
◆2014/07/02 Kenya Broadcasting Corporation Uhuru: Funding for people with disability to be increased next year
◆2014/07/02 The Swazi Observer Happy Valley sponsors Miss Deaf Africa
◆2014/07/02 The Standard Digital News Sh30 million drive to aid disabled flagged off
◆2014/07/02 The Independent Meriam Ibrahim: Sudanese apostasy woman says her baby is disabled because she was made to give birth in chains
◆2014/07/03 The Guardian Nigeria ‘Pistorius suffers disability stress, anxiety’
◆2014/07/03 Zee News Murder trial told disability made Pistorius feel vulnerable
◆2014/07/03 The Swazi Observer Miss Deaf 2nd Princess to compete in Miss Deaf Africa
◆2014/07/04 GhanaWeb NGO calls for support for the disabled
◆2014/07/04 AllAfrica.com Namibia: The Struggles of a Bright Disabled Learner
◆2014/07/05 DPI 話そう、語ろう、アフリカの障害の状況を!「アフリカ・日本交流セミナー」のご案内
◆2014/07/07 South African Broadcasting Corporation Special Olympics aims to celebrate intellectually disabled people
◆2014/07/07 AllAfrica.com Gambia: Fibank Presents Food Items to St. John's School for the Deaf
◆2014/07/09 The Swazi Observer South Africa confirms Miss Deaf Africa participation
◆2014/07/09 New Zimbabwe.com ConCourt allows disabled white farmer eviction
◆2014/07/10 Nehanda Radio ConCourt endorses eviction of disabled farmer
◆2014/07/10 AllAfrica.com Angola: Anda Chairman to Attend Disabled Persons General Assembly in Sao Tome
◆2014/07/10 Leadership Newspapers Nasarawa Sponsors 6 Deaf Persons For Leadership Training In The US
◆2014/07/10 AllAfrica.com Namibia: Deaf Association Concerned With Inadequate Services
◆2014/07/11 Namibian Deaf association concerned with inadequate services
◆2014/07/11 The Swazi Observer SNCAC suspends Miss Deaf pageant
◆2014/07/14 AllAfrica.com South A frica: Audio Books for KZN Visually Impaired
◆2014/07/15 The Swazi Observer Imbali Foundation defends Miss Deaf SD pageant
◆2014/07/15 AllAfrica.com Zambia: Disabled Zambians Needing HIV Services Face Discrimination-
◆2014/07/15 Human Rights Watch Witness: Deaf, and Shut Out from HIV Information
◆2014/07/15 AllAfrica.com Gambia: Deaf Scorpions Intensify Preparations Ahead of Africa Cup
◆2014/07/15 AllAfrica.com Malawi: In Malawi, Trying to Reach Deaf and Blind Community With HIV Messaging
◆2014/07/16 GhanaWeb Funds for disabled being disbursed to abled-bodied persons, MMDAs
◆2014/07/16 AllAfrica.com Tanzania: Mother's Burden of Raising Visually Impaired Children
◆2014/07/16 AllAfrica.com Gambia: Deaf Sport Seeks Support to Participate in ADFCN 2014
◆2014/07/16 The Point Deaf Sport seeks support to participate in ADFCN 2014
◆2014/07/17 GhanaWeb Disabled begging for money saddens me - Pozo Hayes
◆2014/07/19 Ghana News Agency Lady Julia supports School for the Deaf
◆2014/07/22 GhanaWeb Lady Julia supports School for the Deaf
◆2014/07/22 New Zimbabwe.com Prof fights primitive stigma about special needs children
◆2014/07/24 AllAfrica.com Gambia: Disabled Graduate Appeals for Support to Pursue Master's Degree in UK
◆2014/07/24 New Era Centre for visually impaired needs land
◆2014/07/25 AllAfrica.com Gambia Deaf Scorpions Solicits Support From Gambians
◆2014/07/26 The Swazi Observer ‘The deaf marginalised, tough to get Govt services’
◆2014/07/27 Citifmonline State School for the Deaf re-named
◆2014/07/31 Independent Online Vital op for deaf girl put off
◆2014/08/04 AllAfrica.com Zimbabwe: Give Free Education to the Disabled - Nyagura
◆2014/08/04 AllAfrica.com Tanzania: Special Secondary Schools for the Deaf Needed
◆2014/08/05 AllAfrica.com Tanzania: Disabled Plead for Friendly Infrastructure in Stadiums
◆2014/08/06 Zambia Daily Mail Addressing disabled could reduce poverty
◆2014/08/06 AllAfrica.com Uganda: Kibo Foundation to Help Uganda's Disabled Youth Attain ICT
◆2014/08/07 Sierra Express Media Grafton Disabled benefit from Ebola sensitization
◆2014/08/08 AllAfrica.com Ghana: Mobility Skills Training Workshop for Visually Impaired
◆2014/08/12 Onislam.net Deaf Muslims Struggle for Their Faith
◆2014/08/12 Mmegi Online Ndove to help the disabled
◆2014/08/13 AllAfrica.com Kenya: Persons With Disability in Bungoma Support for Referendum
◆2014/08/13 New Vision Disabled soldiers getting into sport
◆2014/08/13 Independent Online Trio hijack disabled man
◆2014/08/13 AllAfrica.com Malawi Govt Launches New Disability Directory
◆2014/08/14 AllAfrica.com Namibia: Poor Education Concerns Deaf Association
◆2014/08/14 Zambian Watchdog MMD is like a dead dog with ticks, says Nixon Chilangwa
◆2014/08/18 AllAfrica.com Zambia: Plight of the Deaf
◆2014/08/19 Times LIVE Deaf pupils to be taught in sign language
◆2014/08/20 AllAfrica.com Gambia Deaf Scorpions Solicit Support From President Jammeh
◆2014/08/21 Kenya Broadcasting Corporation Only 8,000 deaf children are in school out of 200,000
◆2014/08/25 The Star 13-year-old climbs Mt Kenya to raise Sh5 million for disabled
◆2014/08/27 GhanaWeb Persons with disability demand accountability
◆2014/08/28 New Vision Will the NDP II take stock of disability issues and needs?
◆2014/09/01 spyghana.com The Ability Act Of Persons With Disability
◆2014/09/01 The Maravi Post Malawi disability body mad with airports on services, to take legal action
◆2014/09/02 Daily News New Katiba 'to incorporate disabled people's rights'
◆2014/09/02 Nigerian Tribune My deaf daughter would have wasted away in Nigeria
◆2014/09/02 AllAfrica.com Nigeria: Workshop in Nigeria Addresses Theology and Disability
◆2014/09/03 AllAfrica.com Rwanda: Nyereka Ibiganzabyawe, Home to Disabled Women Knitting Their Way to Prosperity
◆2014/09/04 AllAfrica.com Africa: World Water Week - Focus on Disability: Inclusive Latrines Aren't All About Tech
◆2014/09/04 New Era Marginalised hearing impaired want MTC’s Aweh
◆2014/09/05 Vibe Ghana Let’s involve the deaf and hearing impaired in communication- James Sambian
◆2014/09/05 AllAfrica.com Namibia: Deaf Plead With Kaapanda
◆2014/09/06 spyghana.com Can we allow the deaf to drive legally in Ghana?
◆2014/09/07 NewsdzeZimbabwe I NEEDED SEX, DISABLED MAN RAPES GIRL
◆2014/09/08 地域研究コンソーシアム 地域コンソーシアムで,「アフリカの障害と開発」についての若手研究者の報告募集
◆2014/09/08 Namibian Deaf plead with Kaapanda
◆2014/09/08 spyghana.com Can Deaf People Drive?-Some Surprising Facts
◆2014/09/09 Independent Online Mining may contribute to disability levels
◆2014/09/10 The Star Limuru police rescue mentally disabled man locked a year in a house
◆2014/09/10 The Swazi Observer Miss Deaf Africa contest postponed
◆2014/09/11 New Vision UK health experts give hope to over 700 disabled persons
◆2014/09/15 spyghana.com Persons with disability demand more from assemblies
◆2014/09/15 spyghana.com Atosale Gets Disability Friendly Borehole
◆2014/09/15 AllAfrica.com Namibia: Disability Sport Stars Recognised
◆2014/09/15 AllAfrica.com Malawi: The Disabled Are Not State Property - Govt
◆2014/09/15 Peace FM Online IGP’s Tenure Extension By NDC Has Handicapped Him - Charles Owusu
◆2014/09/16 AllAfrica.com Ghana: Wa Municipal Assembly Disbursed Disability Fund
◆2014/09/16 CNN Winners not witches: Ghana's disabled athletes strive to beat stigma
◆2014/09/17 AllAfrica.com Tanzania: Kinondoni Council Eyes Sh800 Million for Disabled People's Education
◆2014/09/17 Namibian Lesotho's streets a jungle for the deaf
◆2014/09/17 Citifmonline Children with disability sacked over delayed subventions
◆2014/09/18 spyghana.com The deaf deserve support, recognition-James Sambian
◆2014/09/18 NewsDay A day out with Miss Deaf
◆2014/09/18 Onislam.net Muslim Body Rescues Malawi Deaf Children
◆2014/09/21 Sudan Tribune Disabled people demand equal treatment in society
◆2014/09/22 GhanaWeb Government urged to consider health needs of deaf community
◆2014/09/22 Zambia Daily Mail Disability is not inability - Stanley
◆2014/09/22 Independent Online Deaf woman ‘butchered’ in hospital
◆2014/09/23 Daily News Egypt Mehleb puts Disability Council under social solidarity ministry’s supervision
◆2014/09/23 New Vision Disability is not inability when one is focused
◆2014/09/24 Daily News Egypt Al-Tayar Al-Sha’aby rejects putting disability council under supervision of social solidarity ministry
◆2014/09/24 AllAfrica.com Gambia: Gadhoh Commemorates International Week of Deaf
◆2014/09/26 AllAfrica.com South Africa: The State of South African Sign Language
◆2014/09/27 New Zimbabwe.com We’re also sexually active, say the disabled
◆2014/09/28 StarAfrica.com 7.5 percent of S/Africans living with a disability - Official
◆2014/09/30 Awoko Sierra Leone News: Disabled Persons benefit from Ebola Education

■Child-friendly text of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (Word/PDF)
■International Rehabilitation Review, December 2007 - Vol. 56, No. 1, SPECIAL EDITION
This annotated bibliography lists a selection of 130 novels, short stories, biographies, autobiographies, materials from philosophy, anthropology and folklore, and literary criticism, in which disability, deafness or mental disorders play some significant part, from East Asia, South Asia, the Middle East and Africa, available mostly in English or French.
■座談会「視覚障害者が高等教育機関で学ぶ スーダンと日本の経験を語る」(2007年8月9日)
■座談会「大学における視覚障害者支援の現状と課題 スーダンで今求められていること」(2008年6月21日)
■立命館大学生存学研究センター報告12「視覚障害学生支援技法 増補改訂版」
○アフリカNOW 78号 特集:アフリカ障害者の10年〜アフリカの障害者の取り組みは今
2007年10月20日発行 一部500円(送料実費) 必要な方はAJF事務局こちらへ
内容 ○アフリカNOW第83号 特集 アフリカにおける民主化の課題

* アフリカにおける平和の定着と民主化の課題  武内進一
* ケニア:2007年選挙後暴力を裁く特別法廷の設置  永岡宏昌
* 【資料】ケニア選挙後暴力究明委員会報告(要旨)


アフリカの現場から−ガーナにおける障害者の社会参加促進活動  南口美佳

* 「POP AFRICA アフリカの今にのる?!」参加して考えたこと  茂住衛
* 【映画紹介】エンタングル・イン・トーキョー パート1:罪の報酬  川田薫

○アフリカNOW第85号 特集 在日アフリカ人・コミュニティと共に生きる
頒価500円(+送料) 必要な方はAJF事務局(info@ajf.gr.jp)に連絡下さい

特集1 在日アフリカ人・コミュニティと共に生きる
小島美佐さんに聞く 在日アフリカ人ファミリーとして誇りを持って生きていくために
在日アフリカ人コミュニティへのHIV/AIDS予防啓発活動に取り組んで 川田薫
特集2 アフリカの障害者と障害者運動の現状
The situation of disabled people in Zimbabwe by Alexander M. Phiri
The situation of youth with disabilities in Uganda by Aggrey Olweny
アフリカの現場から:ガーナ 小中学校における性教育とエイズ予防啓発 宮本佐知子
書評:小倉充夫著「南部アフリカ社会の百年」 近藤帝
ひとつの結び目として・活動日誌 AJF事務局

○障害と開発 途上国の障害当事者と社会
森壮也編 アジア経済研究所



○『アジア経済 Vol.49, No.2』 「貧困のミクロ経済分析−貧困の罠を用いた文献理解」
伊藤成朗 ¥1,050 B5判 平均104頁 2008年2月



○アジア経済研究所叢書4 貧困削減戦略再考
- - 生計向上アプローチの可能性 - -

山形辰史編 ¥4,620円(本体 4,400円 + 税5%) A5判 280頁 2008年3月27日 [amazon]



アフリカと政治 紛争と貧困とジェンダー 改訂版
戸田真紀子著 お著の水書房 2,400円+税 2013年9月 [amazon]

天理大学の戸田さんが、新著「アフリカと政治 紛争と貧困とジェンダー」を送ってくれました。

序章 アフリカを勉強する10の理由
第1部 アフリカの「民族紛争」の神話と現実
 第1章 アフリカの「民族」とは何か
 第2章 アフリカの民族紛争の「神話」
 第3章 突出する紛争犠牲者
 第4章 選挙民主主義が紛争を生み出す矛盾
 第5章 ナイジェリアの宗教紛争
第2部 ジェンダーから見るアフリカ
 第6章 アフリカの女性と「人間の安全保障」
 第7章 女性だけが背負う重荷
終章 立ち上がる草の根の人々とその声


Race Against Time: Searching for Hope in AIDS-Ravaged Africa



山田肖子編著 岩波書店 ジュニア新書 245p 2008年3月

○アフリカのろう者と手話の歴史 - A・J・フォスターの「王国」を訪ねて
亀井伸孝著 明石書店 A5判 254p 2006年12月

○亀井伸孝(2009)「第5章 言語と身体の違いを超えて関係を構築する−アフリカのろう者コミュニティにて−」
箕浦康子編著『フィールドワークの技法と実際II 分析・解釈編』ミネルヴァ書房所収

○亀井伸孝(2009)「第17章 アメリカ手話とフランス語の接触が生んだ手話言語−フランス語圏西・中部アフリカ−」
梶茂樹・砂野幸稔編著『アフリカのことばと社会 多言語状況を生きると言うこと』三元社所収

亀井伸孝著  岩波書店 2009年6月19日  日本語  819円 (税込み)  新書判/縦組/240ページ ISBN978-4-00-500630-4 C0236

○「理解と進歩のためのアフリカ言語学: 第6回世界アフリカ言語学会議(WOCAL 6)参加報告」
 『アフリカ研究』(日本アフリカ学会): 45-47.

亀井伸孝・米田信子著 2009


Students call for interpreters for deaf patients in hospitals


Students of the School for the Deaf in Wa in the Upper West Region have called for the provision of interpreters at various health facilities to enable deaf patients relate their problems to medical personnel.

They said that was necessary to make it easy for such patients to communicate their health problems to health officials, to enable them to obtain quality health care.

They made the call at the celebration of this year’s African Union (AU) Day of the African Child, which was attended by students from four basic schools; namely, the Saint Andrews, T.I. Ahmadiyya, School for the Deaf and the Model Junior High School.

Carrying placards, some of which read: "We Need Better Education”, "Education Makes Our Future Bright”. "Free Relevant and Compulsory Education for Children in Africa"; “Free and Quality Education for All Children in Africa"; "We Need a Library in Our School" and “Parents, Teachers Help Children to Be Educated In Africa", they marched through the principal streets of Wa and later converged on the School for the Deaf.

The event was sponsored by Plan Ghana in collaboration with the Department of Children, and had the theme: "A Child-friendly, Quality, Free and Compulsory Education for all Children in Africa".

In a communique read on behalf of the students, Miss Ivy Kpankpari, a second-year student of Wa Model JHS, spoke about the inadequate infrastructure in the various schools, which posed a serious challenge to academic work and appealed to the government for assistance.

In his keynote address, the outgoing Upper West Regional Minister, Mr Bede Ziedeng, said education was the foundation of a child’s development and stressed that practices such as child trafficking and child labour should be addressed to promote the rights of children.

He said children who migrated to the southern part of the country in search of non-existent jobs became drug addicts and were impregnated prematurely.

He stressed that it was the responsibility of parents and teachers to teach their children their “culture and values to give them a sense of identity and confidence”.

In her welcoming address, Mrs Abobo Siddique, acting Regional Director of the Department of Children noted that despite the Free Compulsory Universal Basic Education (FCUBE), the introduction of Capitation Grant and School Feeding Programme, meant to boost school enrolment, a number of school-age children in the region were still at home and urged all stakeholders in the education sector to help address the problem.

She also appealed to school authorities to allow girls who became pregnant while they were still in school to continue their education.



Africa: Focus On Disability - Delivering Mobile Phones' Promise


The Guardian recently reported on Africa's embrace of mobile phone technologies and how, according to research by Swedish technology firm Ericsson, internet use on mobile phones is likely to increase 20-fold across the continent in the next five years. That's double the growth rate expected in the rest of the world.

Basic mobile phones - and now smartphones - side-step the notorious problems of establishing landlines and bring multiple benefits to hundreds of millions of people in Africa. These include access to services and life-saving information.

If handled well, the rise of mobiles is a brilliant opportunity to accelerate inclusion into different aspects of life for millions of disabled people on the continent - just as it is anticipated to benefit enormous numbers of non-disabled people living in poverty.

Among other things, mobiles give access to life-saving health information, local market information, money transfer services from urban to rural areas and enable all-important contact with family and community. In contrast, unless mobile phone firms explicitly build disability accessibility into the 'DNA' of their product design and dissemination, disabled people will be further excluded from the move out of poverty that all on the continent desire.

Ensuring that mobile phone technologies are accessible to people of all impairment groups will also fulfil the legal obligations that 37 African counties have made through their ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) - specifically Article 9. [2] At least seven more countries are also expected to ratify the convention soon.

Guidelines on how to make mobile phones accessible for different impairment groups have been documented and established. [3,4] However, smartphone accessibility is still evolving.

And it's clear from the lack of accessible design and apps to date that smartphone designers need to be more intentional about ensuring their products can be used by all, according to impairment-specific needs. [5,6] Ensuring all technology development is "'fit-for-purpose"' is crucial. As governments are called to account for how well they are implementing their CRPD obligations, the mobile phone industry will face ever-growing requirements to ensure they comply.

Of course, accessible mobile technologies alone will not achieve the inclusion of disabled people in business, education, health and community life. Other barriers need addressing, such as discriminatory attitudes and prohibitive laws and policies. For example, first-generation mobile phone handsets have been brilliant for deaf people - but only if they are literate and can use text messaging. This opens up big questions about ensuring deaf children are taught to be literate. Many do not make it to the school gates because of the huge discriminatory attitude barriers they face.

Mobile technologies will continue to flood through Africa - the tide will not turn back. Technology designers and promoters should grasp this golden opportunity to ensure it realises the inclusion of disabled people in accessing life-saving services and improving life quality.

Sue Coe has worked in international development for 25 years across Africa, Asia, Europe and the Middle East. Now a development and disability inclusion consultant, she previously worked for World Vision, Practical Action (formerly ITDG), VSO and Action on Hearing Loss (formerly RNID). Sue can be contacted at suecoe2603@gmail.com


[1] David Smith Internet use on mobile phones in Africa predicted to increase 20-fold (The Guardian, 5 June 2014)

[2] UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN, 2006)

[3] Nirmita Narasimhan and others Making mobile phones and services accessible for persons with disabilities (International Telecommunication Union and G3ict, August 2012)

[4] Stuart Dredge Accessibility is vitally important for people with disabilities and older mobile users (The Guardian, 23 November 2011)

[5] Kate Accessibility on mobile: what do brands and developers need to do? (Future Platforms, 29 April 2014)

[6] Achieving independence with smartphone technology (Living Well With a Disability, accessed 26 June 2014)



Holistic support vital for disabled people

Zambia Daily Mail-
Written by Online Editor

With proper support, disabled people can live normal lives. With proper support, disabled people can live normal lives.


IT IS important to help people with disabilities to reach their full potential and become valued contributors to their communities while helping reduce the shame and misunderstanding surrounding disability.

Imagine being invisible for a day.

You could play all sorts of tricks on people. But being invisible all the time would be no fun at all. You’d never be chosen to make a sports team, never get to answer a question in school and never be invited to a party. That’s the kind of sad and lonely life that many people in continents like Africa live just because they have a disability. Sometimes, their families are too poor to afford special care, or they live too far away from hospitals or clinics, or didn’t realise that help was available that could really make a difference. But thanks to people like Tikondane, many people with disabilities in Zambia are no longer invisible.

Tikondane works for CAREDISA (Christian Action Research and Education on Disability Media Centre). He is the ideal person to run programmes for people living with disability. When he was three years old, he caught a disease called polio, which can leave its victims unable to walk or even totally paralysed. Tikondane was lucky. His parents made sure he got the treatment he needed, even though they could hardly afford it. They had to travel long distances to take him to hospital by bus. The family had to sell their farmland to pay for medicine. And for 15 months, Tikondane and his mother moved to live in another town (Ndola) to be closer to Arthur Davison Children’s Hospital where he received medical attention, leaving his sisters and father at their home village in Lundazi district.

It was a huge sacrifice, but it meant that Tikondane is today able to walk with the help of crutches. He is very thankful for all his parents did. ib As a result of his experience, Tikondane has great compassion for people with disabilities and is passionate about helping them improve their lives. His vision is to see every person with a disability in Zambia attending school and learning the skills they need to earn their own income so they don’t need to be dependent on anyone else.

In his work with CAREDISA, Tikondane brings groups of people with disabilities together to talk about their common problems and to come up with possible solutions. He helps train people in activities that will help them earn an income such as basic radio and TV repairs or raising chickens, linking them with savings and credit organisations.

Life for many people with disabilities can be improved with the right care, either corrective surgery or walking aids such as crutches. Tikondane assists in the process, helping match the right person with the right care. Many persons with disabilities need assistance and support to achieve a good quality of life and to participate in social and economic activities on an equal basis with others. Across the world, most of the help and support services are provided informally by family members or social networks.

While informal care is invaluable, it is sometimes unavailable, inadequate or insufficient. Formal provision of assistance and support services, by contrast, is insufficient, especially in low-income economies: state supply of services is generally underdeveloped, not-for-profit organisations have limited coverage and private markets rarely offer enough support to meet the needs of people with disabilities. A multitude of stakeholders have roles in ensuring that adequate assistance and support services are accessible to persons with disabilities. Government’s role is to ensure equal access to services.

Service users and disabled peoples’ organisations and other organisations should increase awareness, lobby for the introduction of services, participate in policy development and monitor implementation of policies and service provision. The author is an advocate for the rights of the disabled.



Uhuru: Funding for people with disability to be increased next year

Kenya Broadcasting Corporation-
July 2, 2014

The Government will scale up its support to persons with disability, President Uhuru Kenyatta has said.

He said since 2009, the National Fund for the Disabled of Kenya has been receiving a grant of Kshs 100 million from the Government annually to help persons with disability countrywide.

The Government will increase the funding in the 2015-2016 budget.

“I personally and the Government will do everything possible to support the work of the Fund,” President Kenyatta said.

President Kenyatta was speaking Wednesday at State House, Nairobi, when he received the National Fund for the Disabled of Kenya’s annual audit reports.

The reports presented by the Fund’s Board of Trustees Chairperson Kristina Pratt were the Audited Financial Report, schedule of the individual and institution beneficiaries for 2013/2014, report on monitoring and evaluation of the Fund’s donation programmes, strategic plan, profile of the Fund and the Board Charter.

The President said the Government will place people with disability at the centre of the country’s development.

He cited the allocation of 30 percent Government procurement and the cash transfer to people with disability as some of the initiatives put in place to support them.

During the occasion, President Kenyatta was given a plaque and officially welcomed to the Fund as its patron. The President also presented two members of the Fund’s Board of Trustees - Ramadhan Haji Abass and Mike Kiswili - with the Order of Burning Spear for their distinguished service to the nation.

The other members of the Fund’s Board of Trustees who attended the meeting were Senator David Musila, Mr. Nicholas Biwott, Prof. Julia Ojiambo, Mrs. Margaret Mwangola and Mr. Peter Nyakiamo.

Labour, Social Security and Services Cabinet Secretary Kazungu Kambi commended the Fund for conducting its activities transparently.

He said the Ministry has identified 10 acres in Nairobi to be allocated to the Fund to boost its work for the people with disability.

Ms Pratt said the Fund’s programmes include giving people with disability equipment to enable them engage in income generating activities, giving grants to institutions and construction of classes for them, among other projects.

She said individuals and institutions that benefit from the Fund and the successful applicants are picked across the country.

In the last five years, the Fund has spent over Kshs 421 million on people with disability, Ms Pratt said.

“The National Government Administration, in conjunction with the Gender and Social Development officers, endorses the applications and give recommendations. The duly filled forms are then forwarded to us by the Deputy County Commissioners,” the Fund’s Chairperson said.



Happy Valley sponsors Miss Deaf Africa

The Swazi Observer
02/07/2014 03:00:00By Samukelisiwe Ginindza

imagePAMPERED: Miss Deaf 2012/13 Vuyisile Masangane flanked by her princesses.

The Happy Valley Resort has offered bed and breakfast for three days for the Miss Deaf Africa winners to be hosted by Swaziland in September.

The three rooms will be won by Miss Deaf Africa and her two princesses.

This was announced at the Miss Deaf Africa launch by the hotel’s General Manager Luigi Rosi.

The event was graced by Princess Sikhanyiso, who is the Miss Deaf Swaziland patron and Miss Deaf Africa Director Maria Sivertsen , Deputy Prime Minister Paul Dlamini, Minister of Sports Culture and Youth Affairs David Ngcamphalala amongst others.

Rosi stated that they took beauty pageants seriously and the Miss Deaf Africa competition to be held in the country was a positive move.

“It is everyone’s social responsibility to try and put Swaziland in the international platform and we have to give what we can to see that dream becoming a reality”, he said.
He also mentioned that having Princess Sikhanyiso and Miss Deaf Africa Director Maria Sivertsen at their hotel was an honour.
“As a hotel, we are looking forward to possible hosting the finals in September and accommodating some of the guests who will attend the event,” Rosi said.

Miss Deaf Swaziland Co-Director Nokuthula Mbatha in her words stated how amazed she was by the hospitality that Happy Valley Hotel gave them.


“I personally thank management and staff for such a gesture, words fails me in expressing my gratitude”, she said.
She further thanked the Swaziland Royal Police for escorting Miss Deaf Africa… from the border and within the country, as she felt so special with the treatment she received.

“I would also like to thank National Commissioner of police Isaac Maga-gula, as our guest felt honoured and confident that Swaziland would host Miss Deaf Africa with ease”, she stated.
She also stated that Maria, who is also her Co-Director will not keep her mouth shut about the hospitality
Mbatha further stated that she is working hard and focusing on the Miss Deaf Africa to be hosted by the country, because she wanted the head quarters of Miss Deaf Africa to be in Swaziland, as the Kingdom deserves that honour.

“Just as the head quarters of Miss Africa is in Ghana, the head-quarters of Miss Deaf Africa will be in Swaziland and as soon as I achieve that I will take a break, before moving into deeper waters’, she stated.

The country’s deaf youth will be entertainers of the day and they will get the opportunity to showcase their other abilities within them, besides pageants.



Sh30 million drive to aid disabled flagged off

The Standard Digital News-
By Lonah Kibet Updated Wednesday, July 2nd 2014 at 22:51 GMT +3

Benson Kiptum, Nairobi co-ordinator for Association for the Physically Disabled of Kenya, speaks Wednesday as the campaign to distribute supportive devices for the disabled to 10 counties was flagged off.

[Photo: Mbugua Kibera/Standard] Nairobi, Kenya: Kenya Reinsurance Corporation (Kenya Re) Wednesday flagged off the distribution of 465 supportive devices for the disabled as part of the first consignment in the 2014 “Niko Fiti ? Ability Beyond Disability” campaign.

The devices to be distributed to 10 counties starting Friday include 174 tricycles, 131 wheelchairs, 90 special seats and 45 pairs of crutches.

The 2014 campaign that will cost Sh30 million is the fourth Niko Fiti annual exercise.

The first leg will last four days and will benefit adults and children with disabilities in Kisii, Kisumu, Busia, Migori, Vihiga, Bungoma, Kakamega, Homa Bay, Nyamira and Nakuru counties.

The areas were identified to have the highest incidence of disability.

The largest distribution will go to the residents of Busia County who will receive 245 of the devices.

The caravan in the second leg will travel to the Mt Kenya and Eastern regions in September.

Niko Fiti is a project by Kenya Re in partnership with the Standard Group and the Association for the Physically Disabled of Kenya (APDK).

Speaking Wednesday during the flagging off ceremony held at Kenya Reinsurance Plaza, the corporation’s Managing Director Jadiah Mwarania said the campaign offers both physical and emotional support.

“The campaign has rekindled hope and enhanced productivity of over 700 Kenyans from different counties.

It has enabled them go through life with minimal dependency,” said Mr Mwarania.

Standard Group Ltd Business Development and Innovation Director Francis Munywoki, standing in for CEO Sam Shollei, reassured that the media house was fully committed to the cause.

He added that the group had increased its contribution to Sh12 million up from last year’s Sh8 million.

APDK founder and national chairman Moody Awori called on the public to avoid preventable causes of disability.

Last year, over 500 devices were distributed to deserving cases in different parts of the country in three phases.



Meriam Ibrahim: Sudanese apostasy woman says her baby is disabled because she was made to give birth in chains

The Independent-

The 27-year-old says doctors have told her they do not know if her newborn daughter will ever be able to walk after her ordeal

ADAM WITHNALL Author Biography Wednesday 02 July 2014

The Sudanese woman who was forced to give birth in jail with her legs in chains because she would not renounce her Christian faith says her baby has been born disabled as a result of her treatment.

Meriam Ibrahim’s case sparked international outrage after she was sentenced to death for “apostasy” and imprisoned while heavily pregnant with her second child.

When the 27-year-old went into labour she was refused access to a hospital, instead placed on a table with her legs still shackled.

Speaking for the first time about the ordeal on 27 May, she told CNN: “I was only thinking about my children and how I was going to give birth. I was most scared of giving birth in prison.

“I gave birth chained,” she said. “Not cuffs but chains on my legs. I couldn't even open my legs so the women had to lift me off the table.”

In this file image from an undated video Meriam Ibrahim, sitting next to her 18-month-old son Martin, holds her newborn baby girl as an NGO visits her in a room at a prison in Khartoum In this file image from an undated video Meriam Ibrahim, sitting next to her 18-month-old son Martin, holds her newborn baby girl as an NGO visits her in a room at a prison in Khartoum Ms Ibrahim said that doctors had told her the circumstances of her birth and treatment in prison meant her daughter had been left physically disabled, with potentially long-lasting consequences.

“Something has happened to the baby,” she said. “I don't know in the future whether she'll need support to walk or not.”

Ms Ibrahim remains in limbo at the US embassy in Sudan, after the authorities stopped her leaving the country over charges travel documents provided to her, her husband and two children were “forged”.

She told CNN: “How can my paperwork be wrong? My paperwork came from the embassy. It's 100 per cent correct and it was approved by the South Sudan ambassador and the American ambassador.”

While in prison, Ms Ibrahim said she was abused and harassed by guards and other inmates over her faith, and visited by a series of different sheikhs trying to persuade her to convert. Meriam Ibrahim was later detained trying to flee Sudan Meriam Ibrahim was later detained trying to flee Sudan

Despite being brought up a Christian, a court in Sudan determined that she was actually a Muslim because her father was a Muslim. It therefore ruled it illegal for her to marry her Christian husband Daniel Wani under Sudanese laws.

Meriam Ibrahim with her husband Daniel Wani Meriam Ibrahim with her husband Daniel Wani US officials say diplomats are now trying to arrange for Ms Ibrahim and her family to depart from Sudan.

Mr Wani, who holds American citizenship as well as being a citizen of South Sudan, said authorities accused his wife of forging the documents as a pretext to justify her detention “without an arrest warrant”.

“Does it make sense that we try to fly all the way to the United States with forged passports?” he said. They were arrested and detained for two days at Khartoum airport where the family was departing the country, a day after Sudan's Cassation Court overturned a death sentence against Ms Ibrahim and ordered her release.



‘Pistorius suffers disability stress, anxiety’

The Guardian Nigeria
Thursday, 03 July 2014 11:10 Written by BBC
Category: World

SOUTH African double amputee, Oscar Pistorius, has been greatly affected by his disability, a sports doctor has told his murder trial.

Wayne Derman told the court in Pretoria that the Paralympian suffered "significant stress and anxiety".

Pistorius says he shot his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, after mistaking her for an intruder in their house last year.

The prosecution argues that he killed her deliberately after a row.

At issue is the athlete's state of mind at the time of the shooting.



Murder trial told disability made Pistorius feel vulnerable

Zee News
Last Updated: Thursday, July 03, 2014, 20:55

Pretoria: Oscar Pistorius`s defence sought on Thursday to show the double-amputee sprinter feels highly vulnerable and acted out of fear not anger when he shot dead his girlfriend.

Pistorius has a "split personality", defence lawyer Kenny Oldwadge told the court. There are "two Oscars", he said -- a world-class athlete and a highly vulnerable individual with a serious disability.

Lawyers defending the 27-year-old on charges that he deliberately shot and killed model Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine`s Day last year are calling their final witnesses.

Medical expert Wayne Derman testified that Pistorius, known as the Blade Runner for his j-shaped prosthetic limbs, was not always the fearless superhero depicted in sports advertisements.

"Although he loathes to be pitied in any way, the hard truth is that he does not have lower legs," said Derman, chief medical officer of the South African Paralympic Team at the London Olympic Games in 2012.

"You`ve got a paradox," he said, "Of an individual who is supremely able and an individual who is significantly disabled."

During five months of the stop-start trial, Pistorius`s lawyers have sought to portray him as manically obsessed with safety after a difficult childhood with a mother who intermittently abused alcohol and in the face of high crime levels in South Africa.

Those factors, they argue, help explain his reaction on Valentine`s Day last year when shot dead his girlfriend, a 29-year-old model and law graduate, through a locked toilet door, allegedly convinced she was an intruder.Derman, who has known Pistorius for six years, testified that the runner is conditioned to "react through auditory stimulus" a result of training to starter pistols fired at the beginning of athletic races.

The expert witness, expected to be the last before the defence concludes its case, said it was Pistorius`s unusual "startle magnitude" that "culminated in this horrific tragedy."

Prosecutors claim Pistorius killed Steenkamp following a row, arguing that neighbours living close to him heard a woman screaming the night he shot the model.

"Not even Mr Pistorius perceived the attack by a burglar on the night to be linked to his disability," said Nel, beginning a tough cross-examination of Derman.

The witness, who Nel accused of bias in favour of Pistorius, was argumentative and indignant on the stand, at times refusing to answer questions.

The Olympian, who has appeared tired throughout the day, cracked a grin with his defence team during tea break.

He then turned to the first row of the public gallery where he greeted two American tourists in court with a polite handshake and a smile, saying "thank you" for their messages of support.

Pistorius faces up to 25 years in South Africa`s brutal jails and an abrupt end to his glittering sporting career if convicted. AFP

First Published: Thursday, July 03, 2014, 20:55



Miss Deaf 2nd Princess to compete in Miss Deaf Africa

The Swazi Observer
03/07/2014 03:00:00By Samukelisiwe Ginindza

imageTo represent: Miss Deaf Second Princess Nelisiwe Dlamini.

Miss Deaf Second Princess Nelisiwe Dlamini will represent the country during the Miss Deaf Africa contest which will be held in the kingdom in September.

Dlamini who is currently studying at the National Institute of the Deaf, in Cape Town South Africa will take the former queen Vuyisile Masangane’s place.

Masangane had dropped out as she gave birth to a baby boy over five months ago.

Dlamini took up the scholarship offer which was initially meant for the former queen.

The Miss Deaf Swaziland Director Nokuthula Mbatha stated that she had immense confidence in Dlamini as she is well exposed, had travelled abroad and was educated, adding she would be a perfect Swaziland representative.
“I am very happy that her mother has so much confidence in me with her child and has supported me throughout the hard times I have been through,” she added.
Drawn for comment, Dlamini’s mother Busi Motsa stated that she was lost for words as God had blessed her through the child her community frowned upon, due to her disability.


“I cannot thank God enough because after He gave me a child with a disability I had to accept that and now He is showing me His grace through the same child. I also thank Princess Sikhanyiso for taking interest in my child and Nokuthula for always staying humbled and taking care of Nelly,” she said. She also mentioned that her dream now was to see her child graduate in college as well as represent the country and be a good example to other children living with disabilities that life still goes on.



NGO calls for support for the disabled


Mr. Cephas Torkornoo, the founder of Positive Ideas International Foundation (PIIF) has called for support for people with disability. He called for vocational training for people with disability to enable them fend for themselves rather than begging.

Mr Torkornoo said people with disability must be given the opportunity to work in public institutions to boost their confidence. Mr. Torkornoo was speaking at a free medical outreach programme organized by his foundation at Oyoko and surrounding communities.

He urged his fellow disable people to desist from begging on the streets and go into skills training to make them relevant to the nation. He appealed to other non-governmental organization, individuals, institutions and organizations to assist Vivian Brentum Afriyie, a seven -year-old girl who is blind, deaf, dump and cripple for her to have access to education.

Nana Adjei Boateng the Member of Parliament for New Juaben North, called on Ghanaians to undertake regular health screening. He said more emphasis needed to be placed on how to prevent ailments and appealed to government to structure the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) to cover regular free health screening.

Nana Boateng appealed to telecommunication companies to channel some of their resources to support such programs that would benefit the deprived. Ms Deborah Tayo Akakpo, the Corporate Social Responsibility Manager of Tigo, said her outfit is very grateful to be part of the exercise.

The participants were screened for diabetes, malaria, breast cancer, HIV Testing and Counselling, eye test, instant HB monitor with free medication



Namibia: The Struggles of a Bright Disabled Learner

4 JULY 2014

Namibia: Police Search for Farmer's Missing...
Liberia: 400 Suspended At AME University

Helvy Shaanika Ondangwa - When seated in the classroom Seline Antonio looks like any other Grade 6 learners but once she stands up, her physical disability reflects the harsh reality faced by this 12-year-old on a daily basis.

Because of her disability teachers at Shinime ShIivula Primary School in Ondangwa are afraid that this bright learner may not be able to finish her education because her unemployed mother cannot afford a wheelchair.

"She cannot even use a toilet at school or get to the morning assembly or to the water tap which is less that 10 metres from her class. These places are simply too far for her. It takes her a long time to walk a few metres because of her condition," explains Johanna Amutati, a Grade 6 teacher at the school.

Amutati describes Antonio as one of her brightest learners but her future looks bleak - if nobody comes to her rescue. This term alone she managed only to attend 15 days and was marked absent for 20 days.

Antonio's mother is unemployed and ever since her parents broke up, her father, who used to support the family, also stopped offering a helping hand, according to Julia Paulu, Antonio's elder sister. Teachers said they have noticed that there are days when Seline Antonio walks home by herself, and sometimes gets dropped off at school with a wheelbarrow.

"Learners knock off at 14h00 but I met her a few times around 16h00 still trying to walk home and she has to cross a busy road on her own. It is just a dangerous situation because in this world of today, people are evil; anything can happen to her, she can even get raped while walking alone. But if she had a wheelchair other learners can help push her, she won't even have to miss school because her classmates are very fond of her," said another teacher at the school.

Relating her life to New Era, Antonio said her mother told her that she was born and grew up like any other normal child, until she turned two. Her legs allegedly started losing strength and at the age of three and she stopped walking.

When she started school, she was able to walk to school with clutches but lately, this has become very difficult as her body weight has become too heavy for her to carry with clutches. She does not use the toilet at school because the toilets are at least 200 metres from her classroom are just too far. And when she needs to drink, she sometimes sends Aune Uugulu, who is her best friend and desk mate to bring her some water.

She gets around the classroom and her home by crawling, which gave her bruises on her legs.

"All I need is a wheelchair so that I can come to school, even when there is no taxi money. Now the situation has become worse because we have moved from the house (shack) where we used to live and moved to another area which is further and where we don't get taxis. If we do not get a taxi passing nearby then I cannot go to school," she explains.




この度、国際協力機構(JICA)の研修員受入事業として、アフリカ諸国(南アフリカ、スーダン、マラウイ、モザンビーク、セーシェル)から障害者リーダーと障害分野の行政官が障害者の研修「アフリカ地域 障害者の自立生活とメインストリーミング」のため来日されます。今年度もアフリカの障害者のおかれた状況をふまえ今後のアフリカ開発について考える場として、「アフリカ・日本交流セミナー」を開催することとなりました。彼/彼女らを囲んで、障害者をめぐるアフリカの課題について語り合いましょう。


日 時:7月5日(土) 10:00〜16:00 (9:30〜受付開始)

場 所:JICA東京国際センター(TIC) 
    〒151-0066 東京都渋谷区西原2-49-5

締 切:6月26日(木) 

言 語:英語(日英通訳付)、手話通訳、文字通訳あり


主 催:独立行政法人 国際協力機構(JICA)
    特定非営利活動法人 DPI日本会議
協 力:ヒューマンケア協会
後 援:特定非営利活動法人 アフリカ日本協議会


〒151-0066 東京都渋谷区西原2-49-5
Tel:03-3485-7051 Fax:03-3485-7904

京王新線 幡ヶ谷駅下車(南口出口)徒歩8分
地下鉄千代田線 代々木上原下車(西口出口)徒歩12分

10:00 開会あいさつ
10:05 主催者あいさつ
10:10 「日本のアフリカ外交と障害者支援」
10:50 研修員1名「アフリカにおける障害者の現状」
12:00 昼食
13:00 分科会
分科会(1)「インクルーシブ教育の推進」 ファシリテーター:山崎恵氏
分科会(2)「重度障害者と自立生活」 ファシリテーター:福田暁子氏
分科会(3)「移動の権利とアクセシビリティ」 ファシリテーター:伊藤秀樹氏


Gambia: Fibank Presents Food Items to St. John's School for the Deaf


Gambia: Youth and Illegal Migration
Ghana: BOG Hits Govt With ¢140 Billion Debt...
Liberia: Nimba 'Scare' - Yekepa Raid Dampens...

FiBank Tuesday presented food items to St. John's School for the Deaf at a ceremony held at the school grounds in Kanifing.

The donated items were 15 bags of rice, 2 bags of onions, 6 pots of tomatoes and 5 bottles of 5liter oil.

Speaking at the presentation, the Principal of St. John's School for the Deaf, Daniel J. Mendy, said St. John's was the only school of its kind, which had been meeting the need of deaf children in The Gambia.

He said presently they have over 256 deaf children that are really deaf and many a time they come out to moderate the affected and they are referred back to the main school where they continue their education with the necessary support.

As a result of their efforts, he added, the school presently has a nursery component, primary component, primary post, junior and even senior component in Grade 10 and 11.

He said that in 1978, the founder of the school started as a missionary who wanted to support one deaf child to communicate verbally but later people in the vicinity knew about his effort and started bringing their own children and the number increased to 26.

According to Mr Mendy, in 1982 the government allocated the land for the school to be created so the number kept increasing and currently they have 256 students.

He said their areas of concern are many as they have feeding to battle with and are also aware that World Food Programme has been really supportive, together with the Gambia government.

He said they are also witnessing another support from FiBank who had presented numerous items to the school to support them.

He said their other concern is transportation as they are running three different buses from Brikama to Sukuta, Lamin, Banjulinding and Tabokoto, which cost them a lot.

He urged all citizens and non-citizens to support them, adding that he appreciated FiBank for their gesture.

Pa Ousman Njie, FIBank General Manager, Institutional Banking, said they were at the school to lend a hand to St. John's School for the Deaf, adding that they were very grateful to the school for opening their doors to them and allowing them to give a token back to the society.

Mr Njie added that they have seen the school and understood some of their problems, noting that at FiBank they could assure them that they do not only come to listen to them but to make sure they partner with them from that day onward.

"This is the only school of its kind in the country and we are very honoured to associate ourselves with them going forward," he concluded.

Honorary Life President of the Parent Teachers Association of St. John's School for the Deaf, Amadou Touray, described FiBank's gesture as worthy, because they were thinking of writing to institutions to come to their aid and help them with items such as rice, oil, onions, and potatoes.



Special Olympics aims to celebrate intellectually disabled people

South African Broadcasting Corporation
Monday 7 July 2014 11:30

The city of Pietermaritzburg is hosting approximately 450 Special Olympics athletes from all over South Africa participating in five sporting codes.(SABC)

Igna SteynMmane BoikanyoLos AngelesPietermaritzburgSpecial Olympics

Special Olympics CEO Igna Steyn says the objective of their programme is to give intellectually disabled people a chance to shine.

Speaking on Morning Live, Steyn says they are concentrating on adults and children with intellectual disabilities.

The city of Pietermaritzburg is hosting approximately 450 Special Olympics athletes from all over South Africa participating in five sporting codes.

Marketing and Communications Manager Mmane Boikanyo says another aim of these Special Olympics games is to celebrate the intellectually disabled people. - Edited by Tshepiso Moche



Zimbabwe: Senators Fight for Rights of the Disabled


An accident in a hotel bathtub opened Senator representing people living with disabilities Annah Shiri to the realities of the unfriendly nature of most infrastructures in Zimbabwe to people with disabilities.

According to Shiri, who lost a leg through a traffic accident more than a decade ago, the accident caused her to sprain her neck.

The MP who lives in the Midlands province has to travel weekly to Harare to attend Senate sittings and during the duration of Parliamentary sittings she is booked at a hotel in Harare.

Shiri, in her capacity as legislator representing people living with disabilities on Thursday introduced a motion on accessibility of social amenities by persons with disabilities.

She said most buildings in Zimbabwe were not accessible to the disabled, making them vulnerable and denying them rights of free movement like other citizens.

Shiri said while the new constitution provided for the rights and privileges of people with physical or mental disabilities, government had been unable to fulfil that mandate or to take measures that ensured that social amenities as well as buildings were accessible to the disabled constituency.

"The amenities in hotels are not user-friendly and I will give an example of what happened to me a few months ago when I had a minor accident in a hotel tub and I ended up spraining my neck," said Shiri.

"The showers at most hotels are not disability friendly and the tubs do not have proper equipment to support a disabled person."

According to Shiri, there were only a few institutions in the country that had facilities to cater for persons with disabilities -- one of them being the Parliament of Zimbabwe which managed to build ramps to enable people on wheelchairs to go up and down stairs without assistance.

She argued it was imperative for public places such as banks, churches, public libraries, museums, holiday resorts to ensure there was equipment and facilities to assist people living with disabilities to access their services without having to be assisted by able-bodied people.

"Most buildings in the country do not have elevators, and those which have them do not have them serviced resulting in most having last functioned many years ago, making it difficult for people on wheelchairs or crutches to access those places.

"They have no choice and have to access such places with the assistance of their relatives who end up carrying them, which itself is a burden. We also want to be independent and not burden our relatives," she said.

Schools are some of the places which also needed to be constructed in a disability-friendly manner to ensure children living with disabilities are able to access them, she said.

"Children with disabilities in this country have to go to their own special schools, which in some instances are very expensive and as a result they end up not attaining basic primary education, which is a fundamental right, according to the supreme law of the land.

"It is important that the Government put measures and policies in place to ensure that children with disabilities access the same schools that those without disabilities go to.

"So there is need to put infrastructure and equipment in place to accommodate children with disabilities. There are a few schools in this country that have ramps for wheelchairs, yet it is not something expensive to put in place. This in itself is one step towards embracing those with disabilities."

She said workplaces should also be accessible to people living with disabilities.

"Workplaces should accommodate persons living with disabilities so that they become independent and not rely on other people to help them out. There should be a clause in the country's laws to compel companies to incorporate persons with disabilities in their programmes because most of them are highly educated yet they are struggling," she said.

In her arguments, Shiri said accessibility should also be understood to include sign language and manuals at workplaces, instructions and electronic information, accessibility to persons with visual impairment as well as for persons with intellectual disability.

For example, persons with hearing impairment might miss information pertaining to sounds like fire alarms, whistles or sirens, while people with visual impairment might miss flashing lights and other warning signs.

"All the ministries should ensure that in their planning process, they take into cognisance that there are persons with disabilities who need to be mainstreamed into that planning," Shiri said.

Another senator representing people living with disabilities, Nyamayabo Mashavakure said the problem with the constitution was that it was crafted by lawyers who themselves did not have disabilities.

Mashavakure is a senator living with visual impairment and is a qualified high school teacher who attained educational qualifications up to Masters' degree level.

"People that are mentally disturbed have problems and serious challenges when they want to access legal services and they end up being taken advantage of.

Mashavakure said although some people living with disabilities were allocated land during the land distribution programme, there was need to support them with inputs.

"The only people that need to be taken care of by government are the aged or orphans; if people have a disability which enables them to perform chores and empower themselves, a suitable environment should be created to enable them to do that."

He said other countries had placement officials that were responsible for employment of people living with disabilities and then allocated jobs to them according to their abilities.

"It has been realised that there are some institutions and individuals who do not feel that they can employ people living with disabilities. These placement officers will explain to the employer that this person has this ability, and is able to perform such chores. We are appealing to the government of Zimbabwe to create a post for a placement officer," Mashavakure said.

Section 22 of the new charter stipulates that all institutions and agencies of government at every level must recognise the rights of persons with physical or mental disabilities, in particular the right to be treated with respect and dignity.

It also stipulates that resources should be made available to them to enable them to achieve their full potential and minimise their disadvantages.

The constitution also stipulates that the state must take appropriate measures to ensure that buildings and amenities to which the public has access are also accessible to persons with disabilities.

However, in as much as the constitution stipulates that people living with disabilities should be supported by government, it also puts conditions that it would be done whenever resources were available.

"In the constitution, when they talk about people living with disabilities, it is said, 'when the resources are available'. This means that if the resources are not available, people living with disabilities can be ignored but we feel that plans should be put in place so that when funds are available developmental plans for people with disabilities are implemented," Mashavakure said.

He said social amenities such as public toilets should be kept clean so that whenever people with disabilities wanted to use them, they will not be susceptible to diseases and other unhealthy inconveniences.



South Africa confirms Miss Deaf Africa participation

The Swazi Observer
09/07/2014 03:00:00By Samukelisiwe Ginindza

imageTHANKFUL: Miss Deaf Africa’s Nokuthula Mbatha.

South Africa has confirmed its participation at the upcoming Miss Deaf Africa pageant which will be hosted in the country at the end of September.

Miss Deaf South Africa Director Leonarda Elizabeth confirmed, adding that the neighbouring country will be represented by their current queen Lefa Manamela.

It was previously alleged that there was misunderstanding between Miss Deaf Africa and South Africa directors but it was all swept under the carpet after the directors met to discuss and settle their disputes.
Miss Deaf Africa’s Nokuthula Mbatha announced that they are above country pageants and people should not confuse Miss Deaf Africa with Miss Deaf Swaziland.


“We seemed like rivals, wanting to step into the glow of Miss Deaf and that was corrected as we clarified to them why our recognition was superior. We are the big sister pageant as we work with the whole continent of Africa to achieve the purpose of better livelihood for the deaf young women of Africa,” she explained.
She also stated that it was only after they acknowledged their position that they gained all the necessary respect from Miss Deaf SA and now they have a very close relationship, working shoulder to shoulder with respect.

Mbatha further expressed gratitude to Miss Deaf South Africa organisers, adding that it shows the great support Miss Deaf Africa is receiving from other African countries. “We thank the Miss Deaf SA participitation, as it will mean more competition for the people contesting for the crown,” she went on to say.

According to Mbatha, Miss Deaf Africa emphasises in the education and grooming of deaf independent young women and it works closely with Gender Links which is a Non Governmental Organisation (NGO) dealing with gender equality.



ConCourt allows disabled white farmer eviction

New Zimbabwe.com
09/07/2014 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter

White farmer's appeal had no legal merit ... Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku

THE Constitutional Court Tuesday upheld the eviction of a white commercial farmer in Masvingo’s south eastern Mwenezi district under the country’s controversial land acquisition programme.

Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku, sitting with the full bench of the ConCourt, agreed with the State’s submissions that no rights had been breached by the notice to compulsorily acquire William Stander’s Benjani Ranch farm.

In his application to the country’s highest court double amputee, Stander, argued that the government was in breach of the constitution as it would deprive him of his only source of livelihood.

“Seeking to deprive such a disabled person of his only source of livelihood clearly infringes on the constitutional guarantees provided under section 83 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.

“One of the questions is whether seeking the accused’s eviction without paying him compensation for improvements amounts to unlawful deprivation of property in terms of section 72 (3) (a) and (b) of the current Constitution and the entitlement to compensation for improvements in section 295 (3) and (4),” Stander said in his submission.

The farmer added that instead, the government should, at the very least, pay him compensation for the farm’s seizure.
“The state is therefore not in a legal position to prosecute accused or seek his eviction before it complies with the law by ensuring that he enjoys his protection by giving him compensation.

“In the circumstances, seeking to evict a person who has not been paid compensation to enable him to secure alternative accommodation renders him homeless, takes away his dignity and violates his rights not to be treated in an inhuman and degrading way,” Stander said.

But in dismissing the application, Chidyausiku said Strander’s plea had no legal merit.

“Application is dismissed as it has no merits and reasons for judgement will be given in due course,” said the chief justice.
>From the Prosecutor General’s office, Fortunate Kachidza, said the law had been followed to the letter and no human right had been trashed.

“There was no infringement of the applicant’s rights. According to Section 3 of the Constitution, every former farm owner whose land would have been gazetted for acquisition shall cease to occupy land; he or she should vacate ... there is no exemption for disabled persons,” Kachidza argued.

“Anybody seeking eviction must remove him or herself from the farm and Section 295 provides for compensation. It is clear that the applicant has not done anything that warrants compensation. If he wants compensation he should vacate forthwith.”

The state prosecutor said Stander had resisted eviction adding the fact that the new owner had approached the courts for redress showed the spirit of the law that prevailed around the acquisition.

“On the right to human dignity, right to life…nothing has been infringed upon,” said Kachidza.
“The new owner of the farm approached the courts after the applicant refused to vacate the premises … doing so he respected his dignity. Therefore the applicant must be dismissed as it has no merit.”


83 Rights of persons with disabilities
The State must take appropliate measures. within the limits of the resources available to it, to ensure that persons with disabilities realise their full mental and physical potential. including measures-

(a) to enable them ro become self reliant;
(b) to enable them to live with their families and participate in social, creative or recreational activities:
(c) to protect them from all forms of exploitation and ahuse;
(d) to give them access to medical. psychological and functional treatment:
(e) to provide special racilities for their education; and
(f) to provide State-funded education and training \Vhere they need it.


ConCourt endorses eviction of disabled farmer

Nehanda Radio
Jul 10, 2014 Crimes & Courts, Farming, News 0
By Mthulisi Mathuthu

A week after President Mugabe ordered the removal of the last remaining white farmers from their properties the Constitutional Court has allowed the eviction of a disabled Masvingo commercial farmer under the government’s land grab exercise.

Godfrey Chidyausiku

Led by Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku the court agreed with the state that William Stander’s rights were not breached by the order that he vacate his Mwenezi-based Benjani Farm.

Stander, who is a double amputee, wanted the court to stop his eviction which he said would deprive him of his only source of livelihood and was in breach of his constitutional rights.

The farmer argued that the state was ‘not in a legal position to prosecute or seek his eviction before it complies with the law by ensuring that he enjoys his protection by giving him compensation.’ Stander also said his eviction without compensation would render him ‘homeless’ and ‘take away his dignity.’

But Mugabe’s favorite lawyer and land grab beneficiary, Justice Chidyausiku and his team, dismissed Stander’s application saying it has ‘no merits and reasons of judgment will be given in due course.’

This was after the prosecution argued that every farmer whose land had been gazzetted for seizure must oblige and there was ‘no exemption for disabled persons.’

Prosecutor Fortunate Kachidza said if Stander wants compensation he must first vacate his ranch which was awarded to district administrator Stanley Chamisa, who was has previously been fined for assaulting the disabled farmer over the same property.

Dispossessed farmer and human rights activist Ben Freeth said the development was ‘sad.’ He added: ‘The Constitution, where there was hope that fundamental rights would be upheld, says that we have got no rights at all and this is a very sad reflection of where we are in Zimbabwe right now.’

He added: ‘The pronouncement by Mugabe a week ago that the few remaining farmers must be removed from the farms has now been boosted by this ruling which says we cannot approach the court.’

Freeth said in terms of Zimbabwe there was ‘nowhere else to turn’ and the farmers could only consider international law where chances for attaining justice were also minimal.

He said: ‘The great sadness is that the SADC Tribunal, which we relied, on has been disbanded and so that option is now closed to us. The other option is the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights, but it is a lengthy process and takes years to complete. A third option is the UN Human Rights Committee but Zimbabwe has not signed the protocol meaning we as individuals don’t have the right to approach it.’

In 2010 Justice Chidyausiku, who was awarded Estes Park farm in the Concession district, dismissed an application for a moratorium on farm seizures, effectively allowing the often deadly exercise to go ahead.

Chidyausiku, who replaced Justice Anthony Gubbay in 2001 (who was forced to take early retirement) is one of the more than 10 Supreme and High Court judges who benefitted from the controversial land grab exercise. SW Radio Africa

- See more at: http://nehandaradio.com/2014/07/10/concourt-endorses-eviction-disabled-farmer/#sthash.zavLySBK.dpuf



Angola: Anda Chairman to Attend Disabled Persons General Assembly in Sao Tome

10 JULY 2014

Luanda - The chairman of the Angolan Disabled Persons National Association (ANDA), Silva Lopes Etiambulo, will participate on 11-12 July, in Sao Tome e Principe, in the General Assembly of Disabled Persons of that country.

Silva Etiambulo will participate in this meeting as member of the World Association of Persons with Disabilities and as part of the existing cooperation process since 1998, between ANDA and the Sao Tomean organisation, signed during the first assembly of CPLP association.

Speaking to ANGOP on Thursday, before his trip to the archipelago, the official informed that he will use the opportunity to transmit the experience of his organisation.

He said, moreover, that ANDA and the Sao Tome National Association of Persons with Disability have friendship ties since 1993, when they were established.

He is also to transmit institutional support and inform the actions that have been developed in Angola to improve the living conditions of people with disabilities.



Nasarawa Sponsors 6 Deaf Persons For Leadership Training In The US

Leadership Newspapers-
Donatus Nadi
July 10, 2014

Nasarawa State government has concluded arrangements to sponsor six persons to this year’s Grassroots International Leadership Training for the Deaf to be held this month in Washington D.C, USA.

Addressing the contingent in Government House, Lafia, Governor Umaru Tanko Almakura expressed his administration’s commitment towards ensuring that those living with disability are given fair opportunities to realize their potentials in life.

He stressed that it is in the same spirit that his administration has undertaken the construction of special schools for those living with disability in the state, noting further that the state government is also partnering with renown specialized institutions in the United Sates towards ensuring that that his drive towards the provision of education is wholesome and without segregation.

The spokesperson for the delegation Mallam A. Hudu expressed gratitude to the Nasarawa state governor for his tireless efforts towards supporting persons living with disabilities.

He commended Governor Almakura for supporting six well educated, deaf indigenes of Nasarawa State to participate in the yearly Grassroots Advocacy International Leadership Training in the USA, stating that this would be the second time the state would participate in the international event for the deaf, with the first being in 2013 when two persons were billed to participate but only one made it due to Visa issues.



Deaf association concerned with inadequate services

By Jordaania Andima
Paul Nanyeni, David Namwandi

THE Namibian National Association of the Deaf (NNAD) has expressed concern at government’s failure to ensure there are enough qualified sign language interpreters in the country.
The association raised its concerns during a meeting with Prime Minister Hage Geingob yesterday which was also attended by officials from several ministries.

NNAD executive national chairperson Paul Nanyeni said the association had tried numerous times last year to contact the ministries of education, finance and health regarding the lack of services but they did not get any response.

Nanyeni said failure to provide qualified sign language interpreters had resulted in many deaf people depending on unqualified interpreters who sometimes distorted the messages resulting in misunderstanding between them and other service providers like the health sector and the police.
“Services rendered to those people living with disabilities are poor. The education system does not allow deaf people to go beyond Grade 10 and as a result most of them cannot get jobs,” he said.
Education minister David Namwandi, who attended the meeting, however said some of the claims made by the association were not entirely true.
Namwandi said although services for disabled people need to be improved, his ministry is doing everything possible to help people living with disabilities, especially regarding the introduction of sign language at educational institutions and public schools.
“The truth must be told and the truth is, the situation is not as bad as they portray it to be,” he said. “It looks like we are locking them outside but that is not true. We don’t want information that is not true going out there.”

Deputy director in the division of special programmes and schools, Lisony Kahikuata said teachers had no background in sign language but they are now being trained on its use.

“Yes, it is true teachers had no background on sign language. However, they are now being trained,” she said, adding that institutions of higher learning like the University of Namibia are also offering master’s degree programme in early child education and onsite training on disabilities.

Kahikuata said the ministry is also offering sex education classes to deaf pupils and is busy training taxi drivers basic sign language.
Lizette Beukes, from the Centre for Communication and Deaf Studies (CCDS), said although universities do not offer interpreter classes, the Centre for Deaf Education in Namibia has courses that are recognised by Cambridge University.
“Sign language at the centre is credited by Cambridge and we provide training and education to deaf people.”

- See more at: http://www.namibian.com.na/indexx.php?id=15171&page_type=story_detail&category_id=1#sthash.RmQzgJn3.dpuf



Namibia: Deaf Association Concerned With Inadequate Services

10 JULY 2014

THE Namibian National Association of the Deaf (NNAD) has expressed concern at government's failure to ensure there are enough qualified sign language interpreters in the country.

The association raised its concerns during a meeting with Prime Minister Hage Geingob yesterday which was also attended by officials from several ministries.

NNAD executive national chairperson Paul Nanyeni said the association had tried numerous times last year to contact the ministries of education, finance and health regarding the lack of services but they did not get any response.

Nanyeni said failure to provide qualified sign language interpreters had resulted in many deaf people depending on unqualified interpreters who sometimes distorted the messages resulting in misunderstanding between them and other service providers like the health sector and the police.

"Services rendered to those people living with disabilities are poor. The education system does not allow deaf people to go beyond Grade 10 and as a result most of them cannot get jobs," he said.

Education minister David Namwandi, who attended the meeting, however said some of the claims made by the association were not entirely true.

Namwandi said although services for disabled people need to be improved, his ministry is doing everything possible to help people living with disabilities, especially regarding the introduction of sign language at educational institutions and public schools.

"The truth must be told and the truth is, the situation is not as bad as they portray it to be," he said. "It looks like we are locking them outside but that is not true. We don't want information that is not true going out there."

Deputy director in the division of special programmes and schools, Lisony Kahikuata said teachers had no background in sign language but they are now being trained on its use.

"Yes, it is true teachers had no background on sign language. However, they are now being trained," she said, adding that institutions of higher learning like the University of Namibia are also offering master's degree programme in early child education and onsite training on disabilities.

Kahikuata said the ministry is also offering sex education classes to deaf pupils and is busy training taxi drivers basic sign language.

Lizette Beukes, from the Centre for Communication and Deaf Studies (CCDS), said although universities do not offer interpreter classes, the Centre for Deaf Education in Namibia has courses that are recognised by Cambridge University.

"Sign language at the centre is credited by Cambridge and we provide training and education to deaf people."




SNCAC suspends Miss Deaf pageant

The Swazi Observer-
11/07/2014 03:00:00by Samukelisiwe Ginindza

imageSNCAC CEO Stanley Dlamini

...due to alleged mismanagement of sponsors

The Swaziland National Council of Arts and Culture (SNCAC) CEO Stanley Dlamini threw the Miss Deaf Swaziland pageant under the bus.

This was with his statement during the official launch of Miss Cultural Heritage on Wednesday at The George Hotel.

Dlamini unequivocally announced that the Miss Deaf Swaziland pageant was suspended from SNCAC due to mismanagement of sponsors, adding that sponsors should donate to the pageant at their own risk.
“The arts and culture office oversees Miss Swaziland, Miss Teen Swaziland, Miss cultural Heritage, Mr Swaziland, Miss Tourism and anyone I have not mentioned is a con.
We know and recognise the directors and they are honest, that is why we are eager to sign their contracts again and again, look carefully at their faces to avoid being conned”, he added.


He further told the gathering that the beauty pageant directors present during the event are upstanding citizens.

“These beauty pageant directors present here today are honest, they give sponsors to the rightful winners as it is, I am very proud of their honesty and urge them to make us walk together”, he went on to say.


When drawn for comment, Nokthula Mbatha, who was reinstated into the role as the Miss Deaf Swaziland pageant Director by the deaf community of Swaziland at first refused to comment on these allegations.

However, she later said, “Miss Deaf Swaziland is under the Imbali Foundation which is under Princess Sikhanyiso. I don’t have the of power to comment on the allegations made by the SNCAC CEO but the Imbali Executive will respond.”



South A frica: Audio Books for KZN Visually Impaired

14 JULY 2014

South Africa
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Pretoria - Twenty nine visually impaired people, in Pietermaritzburg, have been given Victor Readers, also known as audio book players, to help them better access information.

The move is part of on-going efforts by the KwaZulu-Natal Arts and Culture Department to assist the province's visually impaired community.

R1 million has been set aside for the mini libraries project which aims to promote a culture of reading among the visually impaired.

Content is preloaded for the users and librarians monitor them every three months. The devices are portable and work like a cellphone, using headphones to feedback the audio.

The information has been collected and converted by tertiary students assisting the programme.

Beneficiaries of the project are selected through research conducted by The National Blind Society and district municipalities, in conjunction with the provincial department.

Officials will continue conducting visits to communities across the province to add more names to the department's database.

The department, which opened seven mini libraries in various districts across KZN last year, will open another seven in 2014.

Each of these facilities will have a document reader, also known as a DAISY (Digital Accessible Information System) machine. The machine can read the content of any document or newspaper that is placed on it.

Mandla Ntombela, the Chief Librarian at the Bessie Head Library which is in the Msunduzi Municipality, has expressed his confidence in the project. "This project will improve the lives of many visually impaired people living in KwaZulu-Natal as it will afford them the opportunity to better themselves by furthering their education and keeping informed of what is happening in the province, country and world at large," said provincial Arts and Culture MEC Ntombikayise Sibhidla-Saphetha.



Imbali Foundation defends Miss Deaf SD pageant

The Swazi Observer
15/07/2014 03:01:00
By Samukelisiwe Ginindza

Imbali Foundation has defended the Miss Deaf Swaziland pageants amidst mismanagement of sponsors’ allegations levelled by the Swaziland National Council of Arts and Culture (SNCAC) CEO Stanley Dlamini.

Dlamini made these damning statements during the recent official launch of the Miss Cultural Heritage pageant at The George Hotel on Wednesday.

He spoke ill of the pageant, stating that it was suspended from the SNCAC beacuse of mismanagement of sponsors, saying sponsors should donate to the pageant at their own risk.

Dlamini told the gathering that the arts and culture office oversees Miss Swaziland, Miss Teen Swaziland, Miss Cultural Heritage and Miss Tourism.

“Anyone I have not mentioned is a con. We know and recognise the directors and they are honest, that is why we are eager to sign their contracts again and again, look carefully at their faces to avoid being conned,” he said.

He told the gathering that the beauty pageant directors present during the event were upstanding citizens.


“These beauty pageant directors present here today are honest, they give back sponsors to the rightful winners as it is, I am very proud of their honesty and I urge them to make us walk together,” the SNCAC CEO said.

Coincidentally, Nokuthula Mbatha who was reinstated into the role as the Miss Deaf Swaziland pageant director by the deaf community of Swaziland wasn’t present during the event.

The Imbali Foundation, which is now the overseer of the pageant and whose patron is Princess Sikhanyiso, was drawn for comment on these allegations made by the SNCAC CEO.


Imbali Foundation Principal Secretary Prince Makhosonkhe stated that a proper investigation was conducted before the foundation took the pageant under its wings.

He added that the Miss Deaf SD pageant was honest in its dealings.

Prince Makhosonkhe also stated that the foundation was not in the business of engaging in public battles, and would, therefore, make an appointment with the CEO to establish how he reached these conclusions.


“Miss Deaf Swaziland approa-ched us as an organisation with the Swaziland Deaf Assoc-iation and with a thorough investigation, which proved otherwise, we welcomed them with open hands as they had a strong leadership and were honest, we trust the organisation and cannot single out the pageant or one individual,” he stated.

Mbatha stated she had never doubted her innocence and therefore, she was not bothered with such allegations. Entertain

She pointed out that she would not entertain any questions in relation to these allegations other than the proceedings of the upcoming Miss Deaf Africa competition to be held in the country in September.

“Let us respect our leaders and not let our personal grudges destroy us as we are under the monarch,” she further added.



Zambia: Disabled Zambians Needing HIV Services Face Discrimination-


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In Zambia, where disability is often considered a punishment inflicted by evil spirits, nearly one million people with disabilities are struggling to access HIV prevention or testing services or treatment, a rights group said.

Yet these people may be more vulnerable to HIV infection than others because of lower levels of education and literacy, greater poverty and greater risk of physical and sexual abuse, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said.

"Across the continuum of care - from education to testing to treatment - people with disabilities in Zambia face hurdle after hurdle," said Rashmi Chopra, the author of the report, 'We Are Also Dying of AIDS': Barriers to HIV Services and Treatment for Persons with Disabilities in Zambia.

More than one in 10 adult Zambians are living with HIV, and a similar number live with a disability, the report said.

The southern African nation has made progress in expanding HIV prevention and treatment services over the past 10 years, boosting the number of HIV counselling and testing centres to 1,800 in 2013 from 56 in 2001, HRW said.

It also noted that between 2005 and 2013, the number of adults and children on antiretroviral therapy or ART, the drugs that keep HIV from replicating in the body, rose to 580,118 from 57,164.

But people with disabilities are being left behind in Zambia's response to HIV due to stigma and discrimination.

Part of the problem is that people with disabilities are often viewed as asexual or lacking the same right to marry and have children as others, HRW said.

"When you go for VCT (voluntary HIV counselling and testing), you are looked up and down, people say, 'Why should you be in the line? Who would give you HIV?'" Yvone, a Zambian woman with a physical disability, was quoted as saying. "They don't expect disabled women to be sexually active."

The report, released ahead of an international conference on AIDS in Melbourne, also outlined problems encountered by specific groups.

Dominic Vwalya said condom use was difficult for blind people. "A blind person probably relies on their partner to help with using a condom. I can do it by feeling, but I'm not going to see whether it is damaged. The expiry date can be a problem. The one selling might give you the expired ones," he was quoted as saying.

Lidia said many deaf people were forced to rely on friends or family members to help them communicate with health workers, putting the confidentiality of their conversation at risk.

"Even if the interpreter is a friend of a family member, information spreads quickly ... If it's the wife (who has gone to a health centre), the husband will know quickly," HRW quoted her as saying.

Editing by Tim Pearce; timothy.pearce@thomsonreuters.com

Sata's Ill-Health Is a Public Relations Disaster Kalomo Central Member of Parliament Request Muntanga says President Michael Sata cannot perpetually have people speaking … see more ≫
Read the original of this report on AlertNet Climate, the Thomson Reuters Foundation's daily news website on the human impacts of climate change.



Witness: Deaf, and Shut Out from HIV Information

Human Rights Watch
JULY 15, 2014

A health worker administers a voluntary HIV test at Chreso Ministries VCT (Voluntary Counseling & Testing) and ART (Anti Retroviral Treatment) Centre in Lusaka.
c 2014 Justin Purefoy for Human Rights Watch

Faith learned she was HIV positive two years ago, after giving birth to her daughter. The Zambian government prides itself on its HIV prevention outreach, and every pregnant woman is supposed to be tested for the virus, to prevent passing it on to their babies. But Faith, now 25, is deaf, and was never tested before the baby was born. Nor did she receive even basic information about HIV.

If people who are deaf don't bring their own sign language interpreter to health clinics, they are unlikely to get information. Even when they do, they are often greeted with stares by other patients and negative attitudes from some health workers. Now, Faith is on HIV treatment, but it’s a struggle. Her 2-year old daughter is positive too, which might have been prevented if Faith had been tested before the baby arrived.

An estimated two million people with disabilities in Zambia face significant barriers to HIV prevention, testing, and treatment, according to a new Human Rights Watch report, “We Are Also Dying of AIDS.” Zambia is a regional leader in providing HIV services.

Yet because people with disabilities in Zambia are often seen as not engaging in sex, they are often excluded from community gatherings where government workers or nongovernmental organizations hand out condoms or educate people about the virus. Children with disabilities are less likely to attend school, where HIV is discussed, and many schools don’t offer the information in accessible formats, like large print or braille. Some disabilities, like deafness, are associated with witchcraft, which leads to additional discrimination in their communities.

And while there are significant barriers to treatment and prevention, people with disabilities in Zambia are more vulnerable than others to contracting HIV because of lower education and literacy levels, greater poverty, and greater risks of physical and sexual abuse.

When Faith first met the Human Rights Watch fellow Rashmi Chopra, she stared ahead with a blank expression, preferring to let her mother answer questions. It was only when someone placed Faith’s daughter in her arms that she smiled. She had so much vibrancy, and she spent so much time hiding it.

As a child, Faith was sent to a school with a special education unit for the deaf, but she dropped out in 4th or 5th grade when her family, who lived in Zambia’s Copperbelt province, could no longer afford the transportation cost. She never fully learned formal sign language, making communication difficult. Faith communicates using traditional signs, made up by her family, combined with formal sign language. She relies on her brother to help her communicate with health workers.

When Faith spoke of her husband, she didn’t call him by name, instead referring to “the father of my baby.” Faith’s husband berates and belittles her. He is often away from home, so Faith’s family has stepped in to help her raise the baby. When Faith asked her husband if he’d been tested for HIV, he wouldn't tell her. Yet Faith wants a relationship with her husband, and she wants her community to see that she is in a relationship.

While many women in Zambia have similar problems, women with disabilities are particularly vulnerable to abuse and abandonment since they are often dependent on others for care and support. Men who choose to be with a woman with a disability may also be stigmatized by their community.

When Faith was pregnant, she did not get any pre-natal care so she wasn ’t tested for HIV. She doesn’t like going to her local clinic because of the way people look at her when she is signing. “I feel it, people are staring at me and pointing at me,” she said. “I don’t like coming here.” While Faith wants another child, some healthcare workers have told her she should not have any more because she is unable to take care of her child properly because she is deaf. This attitude alone could deter her from seeking necessary medical treatment.

Today, Faith is receiving more help. Her pastor put her in contact with an organization for people with disabilities, which serves deaf people. The organization is working to see if the clinic Faith visits for HIV treatments could support her with a sign-language interpreter, a big step. With each step such as this Faith and others like her can finally realize their equal right to health.



Gambia: Deaf Scorpions Intensify Preparations Ahead of Africa Cup


The Gambia's participation at the Africa Deaf Football Competition to be held in the Togolese capital Lome, continues to gather pace as the team intensifies preparations ahead of the historic competition.

The three-week tournament that will be held between the 4th and 25th October of this year in the West African country will be the first time that a Gambian team is participating in, at continental level.

The country's participation was confirmed through an invitation sent to The Gambia Deaf Football Association. Having left Gambians in awe with the talents at their disposal at local level, the Association under the leadership of its president, Lamin Ceesay is hoping to bring more joy to their supporters at the international level.

However, as the team continues preparations ahead of the tournament, one stumbling block that looks to threaten their participation is the lack of adequate resources. Ceesay is hopeful that with the country currently suspended from all categories of football competitions, the hopes of every Gambian for silverware in football lies on his team.

He also expressed delight in taking part in the first ever Africa deaf football competition, noting that with only two months before the campaign begins, he would like to take all the players to camp to better prepare for the competition, provided the funds are available.



Malawi: In Malawi, Trying to Reach Deaf and Blind Community With HIV Messaging



Tailoring outreach to people with disabilities a goal for advocates under NFM

HIV activists in Malawi are beginning a new collaboration with advocates for people with disabilities to ensure that HIV prevention messages are reaching even those who cannot see or hear.

According to World Health Organization (WHO) estimates, around 1% of most African country's populations are deaf or blind. In Malawi, this amounts to roughly 25,000 people who are active members of their communities, engaging in the same kinds of behaviors that can increase the risk of HIV infection.

The president of the African Federation of the Deaf-Blind, Ezekiel Kumwenda, told Aidspan that HIV prevention efforts have until now failed to integrate messaging specifically targeting the blind or deaf.

"This gap therefore creates an unfortunate window within our communities through which the country may find that the gains in HIV and AIDS interventions are getting reversed," Kumwenda said.

With a recorded prevalence rate of 10.8 percent for adults aged 15-49, and 50,000 new cases of HIV registered annually, Malawi is considered a high-burden country by the Global Fund. The National AIDS Commission has never recorded prevalence among the population of people with disabilities, but according to Kunwenda, HIV prevalence is higher, at 14 %, than among the general population.

This can be attributed to a wholesale lack of understanding and awareness about HIV within the population because it has never been packaged in a way that is easily accessible, he said.

"Don't leave the disabled behind. How can condoms be used effectively by people who cannot see or hear?" he asked. "If someone can read instructions for you, then it means you have no privacy. Why don't manufacturers put expiry dates in Braille in condom packets?"

Other challenges include the difficulty of accessing HIV and AIDS service centres, while noting that there are few counselors who are fluent in sign language who can reach deaf clients.

According to the 2009 Malawi National Association of the Deaf (MANAD) Baseline Survey, about 47 percent of the respondents revealed that they have never been reached with any message about HIV and AIDS.

MANAD executive director Byson Chimenya told Aidspan that though Malawi has had some success in reducing its prevalence rate due to targeted interventions for youth, married couples and other key populations, the deaf community has been left behind.

"This has been aggravated due to lack of appropriate forms of information dissemination for deaf people. Most service providers do not have requisite communication skills to liaise with the deaf," Chimenya said through a sign-language interpreter.

Reaching people with disabilities is not a problem unique to Malawi, Chimenya said, noting that a comprehensive initiative developing messaging in Braille for behavior change and advocacy campaigns, and supporting training in sign language for voluntary counseling and testing (VCT) counselors would be useful the world over.

Conducting HIV and AIDS awareness through focus group discussions among deaf people, training deaf people to become VCT counselors and finding effective ways to promote condom use for people who cannot see or hear will require resources, innovative approaches and a global commitment to including all people in prevention and safer sex messaging.

MANAD has been a sub-recipient of Global Fund grant money since June 2013. Chimenya said that he is working closely with the NAC and other HIV stakeholders to ensure that the country's concept note for allocations available under the new funding model (NFM) includes provisions for activities targeting people with disabilities.

One activity that could potentially find support is a project proposed in early 2014 that was shelved for want of funds. The project would target five districts in Malawi with a prevention campaign specifically designed to reach deaf and blind populations with condom promotion and distribution, and counseling services that accommodate their disabilities.

The project, with a price tag of roughly $65,000 would also train existing VCT counselors in international sign language in the five districts so that the hearing impaired and the deaf could access VCT services through public facilities.

Owen Nyaka lives in Malawi and is a member of the Key Correspondents network which focuses on marginalized groups affected by HIV, to report the health and human rights stories that matter to them. The network is supported by the International HIV/AIDS Alliance.


Wanderers Resurrect Nkhotakota, 21 July: Mighty Wanderers over the weekend rose from the dead and banged six points following their 1-0 … see more ≫ Read the original story, with tables and illustrations where appropriate.



Funds for disabled being disbursed to abled-bodied persons, MMDAs


Funds meant to alleviate poverty among persons with disability (PWDs) appear to be fodder for business for some able-bodied persons, TV3 has gathered.

Municipal, Metropolitan and District Assemblies (MMDAs) are also said to be borrowing from these funds though they are enjoined by law to commit 2 per cent of their respective common funds to aid the cause of the disabled, particularly those not in the formal sector.

The "illegal" action was first brought to the attention of TV3 by the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of SEND Ghana, Siapha Kamara.

“In some districts, there are persons who are not disabled but are given funds that are meant for the disabled,” he confided in our correspondent.

This was later confirmed by an Advocacy Officer at the Ghana Federation of the Disabled (GFD), Isaac Tuggu, who blamed the situation on the “ mischievous” attitude of some Ghanaians.

“We are aware,” Mr Tuggu told TV3’s Sandra Esinam Afenu.

“We have received reports. You know sometimes [with] human behavior every system would want to be abused. I think it is because of this attitude that is why some people are being mischievous and trying to bring in people who are not PWDs but actually benefitting.”

An officer at the Accra Rehabilitation Center was, however, worried the situation persists because persons with disabilities have not been made signatories to the funds.

“The major problem is that the account is not made available to the Fund Management Committee.”

Disability Council's challenges

TV3 gathers that for the past year though the MMDAs have received their common funds, the 2 per cent meant for the PWDs have not been made available.

The Disability Council, which is mandated to oversee the welfare of PWDs, our correspondent observes, has its own challenges to grapple with.

“We have problem with staffing,” Mr Tuggu, who also works for the Council, said. “There are so many areas that we are unable to cover because we don’t have the personnel.”

He noted that apart from the Executive Secretary of the Council, there are only two permanent staff.

One is in charge of sports and the other in charge of programmes, he said.

“We don’t have officers in both the regions and the districts and it is actually affecting monitoring.”



Tanzania: Mother's Burden of Raising Visually Impaired Children


Tanzania: Child Care Initiatives Impress Hamad
South Africa: Teachers, Students and Parents...

Zanzibar - IT is not easy to draw a picture of a child who is visually impaired but is eager to attend school and play with other children. But Ms Mwaka Juma Mussa (43), caring for five such children of her own has a different story.

Her struggle to raise the children involves making sure that they never miss school and have enough time to play.

Mwaka looks pooped, but stable in her house partly roofed with coconut leaves and loose iron sheets. It was lunch time and her young visually impaired son was demanding something to eat.

The mother and other family members are observing the Holy Month of Ramadhan.

The mother was just planning of what to cook for Iftar (meal after fast ends at sunset). But since children are not supposed to fast, the blind son named Abdullahi, aged four was hungry.

"I thank God for what He has given me. Raising five blind children is not a simple thing. I am happy with them, despite their visual impairment. The children have been growing well, with impressing performance in school," she said. Raising blind children is an experience filled with adventure! Some days are hectic, others are peaceful.

Some days you celebrate your achievements and other days you have to cope with bad news concerning their health. But despite poverty, I never think of ignoring parenting my blind children! Mgeni-Haji, a famous small village in the central district of Unguja, where Mwaka lives with her children is known for its fertile land producing spices and other foodstuff like cassava, a popular dish in Zanzibar.

The village's popularity has grown in recent days after news about Mwaka with her five visually impaired children spread. Four children are blind, while one has multiple disabilities: Blind, dumb and mental disorders. All the five lovely children: Omar (22), Maimuna (14), Ramla (11), Thuwaiba (9), and Abdullahi (4) are believed to have been born with the physical problems. The problems were easily recognised.

"It has been a big challenge to me and my husband Mr Iddi Riziki Ussi (45). We have managed to raise the children in a difficult environment and poverty," explains Mwaka Juma who got married at the age of 17. Mwaka said that she is a mother of nine children, but the five developed visual disabilities.

"Three out of the other four are physically okay, performing well in school, while the eldest daughter got married after completing form four,"
she said." Maimuna, Ramla and Thuwaiba are at Mgeni Haji inclusive school and have been scoring high in class and also in Quran School. Unfortunately Omar is unable to go to school," the mother says adding. "I have been patient as I raise my children in poverty.

Omar has more complications as he grows up; "now an adult at the age of 22, he hears, but cannot talk and we have to help him do everything." Omar was treated at Mnazi Mmmoja Hospital, before he was referred to Muhimbili Hospital in Dar es Salaam. He has shown some improvement and "an organisation asked us to enrol in him at Uhuru-Mchanganyiko school in Dar es Salaam where he stayed for only oneyear."

Omar returned home in Zanzibar because he could not cope in class and that was the end of his education life. He is now dormant at home and we cannot help him, said the mother. Health experts describe vision impairment as a term that covers many vision problems as well as different kinds of loss.

Children with vision loss experience the world in a different way from other youth. Vision impairment can happen at any age. Most vision conditions in children will stay the same throughout their life. Some conditions might result in vision problems for only a short time, but others might get worse over time, resulting in much poorer vision or blindness as the child gets older.

Mwaka said she faced no serious health problems during pregnancy and delivered her children in a normal way. The mother also said she remembers her family of not having history of eye problems and even her husband family background in recent years had no problem, therefore arguably ruling out inheritance.

She said that medical doctors at both the Mnazi Mmoja Hospital and Muhimbili in Dar es Salaam did not tell her the cause of blindness to her children. However, health officers say vision impairment can be caused by genetic conditions and by damage or injury to the eye, to the pathways connecting the eye to the brain or to the visual centre of the brain.

A child can have vision impairment at birth and can also happen later as a result of disease, injury or a medical condition. The most common causes of vision impairment are: Neurological conditions that affect parts of the brain that control sight (cortical vision impairment).

Other causes are genetic conditions such as Albinism and retinitis pigmentosa; and illnesses that happen to some very premature babies or babies that have particular problems during their birth.

Conditions such as paediatric glaucoma, cataracts and cancer like retinoblastoma and also the mother being infected by a particular virus during pregnancy (for example, rubella, cytomegalovirus, sexually transmitted infection, toxoplasmosis and so on) also cause blindness. Blindness can affect many areas of child's development, some of which you might not expect.

The child can have challenges in many ways including communicating (not seeing someone waving and smiling at her or not being able to make eye contact). Social interactions (clumsy, not able to read non-verbal cues and gestures, get lost in a crowd or have trouble making friends); having problems in telling the difference between day and night and having difficulty in playing.

Family support, according to the mother and father of the children, they depend on Aid from individual people, who have been donating money and recently building material to help improve their 'House'.

"Our partly thatched house is insufficient for us. We need to improve the house at least by rebuilding it using blocks, and iron sheets," said Mjaka who survives as a petty trader, in the village, selling bites. The parents said that their children need clothes including school uniforms, items for playing, and learning materials like brail yet the support from people remains very small.



Gambia: Deaf Sport Seeks Support to Participate in ADFCN 2014

16 JULY 2014

Africa: Will Providing an Alternative End...
South Africa: Offenders to Participate in...
Human Rights
Cote d'Ivoire: Avoiding Victors' Justice

The Gambia Deaf Sports Association (GDSA) is seeking financial support from the Ministry of Youth and Sports and the general public to enable them participate in the first-ever African Deaf Football Cup of Nations (ADFCN) to be held in Accra, Ghana, from 4 to 25 October 2014.

In a media release sent to Pointsports, Lamin M. Ceesay, president of the GDSA, said: "I am appealing to the Gambia government through the Ministry of Youth and Sports and stakeholders in sport - BE FAIR PLAY - to make it a point of duty to consider this first-ever great opportunity for our beloved Gambian Deaf in Sports."

He added: "I am sure there are football funds in place at the ministry of youth and sports and its stakeholder institutions in sport development. I mean the funds which were kept in place to cover the expenses of national football teams on international football matches. Unfortunately, if our non-disabled national teams such as U20 were banned, then let the funds be available and given to the National Deaf Scorpions FC to bring fruits for all to enjoy."

"Since we have only two months to go, I would like to have all my players at the camp for a series of trainings and then build confidence and trust in them," he went on.

"This could be possible if our government (Ministry of Youth and Sports) and its stakeholders give us their positive approval and permission like other African countries that have already confirmed their participation and payments."

They want to camp the players and officials "as quickly as possible", Mr Ceesay also said, adding: "We must resume training in order to achieve our goals at the said Deaf Cup of Nations.

"We want to attain excellence in sports BE FAIR PLAY and bring glory to the nation."

He also said anyone willing to help them can reach him on: +220 77 28 0 92 SMS or +220 88 0 55 99. Email lams_lamin@yahoo.co.uk

John S.A. Yusuf, Secretary General of CADS, in his letter to the Gambia Deaf Sports Association, said: "The Confederation of African Deaf Sports (CADS), the sole governing body of deaf sports under the structure of International Committee of Sports for the Deaf ICDS, wishes to confirm that Gambia Deaf Sports Association (GDSA) is one of our member federations with rights for football team and officials to participate in the above-mentioned competition in Accra, Ghana."

The letter added: "The suspension of the Gambia National non-disabled football teams from all international football matches under the order of the FIFA/CAF is no longer in line with CADS status, having nothing to do with our beloved relationship with Gambia Deaf Association GDSA Football team.

"We strongly support their request for financial and materials assistance to participate in the tournament successfully. This will also support the empowerment policy of the government and make them productive."

In conclusion it said: "We wish to thank you for your kind consideration and approval of their request."



Deaf Sport seeks support to participate in ADFCN 2014

The Point
Africa ≫ Gambia
Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The Gambia Deaf Sports Association (GDSA) is seeking financial support from the Ministry of Youth and Sports and the general public to enable them participate in the first-ever African Deaf Football Cup of Nations (ADFCN) to be held in Accra, Ghana, from 4 to 25 October 2014.
In a media release sent to Pointsports, Lamin M. Ceesay, president of the GDSA, said: “I am appealing to the Gambia government through the Ministry of Youth and Sports and stakeholders in sport - BE FAIR PLAY - to make it a point of duty to consider this first-ever great opportunity for our beloved Gambian Deaf in Sports.”

He added: “I am sure there are football funds in place at the ministry of youth and sports and its stakeholder institutions in sport development. I mean the funds which were kept in place to cover the expenses of national football teams on international football matches. Unfortunately, if our non-disabled national teams such as U20 were banned, then let the funds be available and given to the National Deaf Scorpions FC to bring fruits for all to enjoy.”

“Since we have only two months to go, I would like to have all my players at the camp for a series of trainings and then build confidence and trust in them,” he went on.

“This could be possible if our government (Ministry of Youth and Sports) and its stakeholders give us their positive approval and permission like other African countries that have already confirmed their participation and payments.”

They want to camp the players and officials “as quickly as possible”, Mr Ceesay also said, adding: “We must resume training in order to achieve our goals at the said Deaf Cup of Nations.

“We want to attain excellence in sports BE FAIR PLAY and bring glory to the nation.”

He also said anyone willing to help them can reach him on: +220 77 28 0 92 SMS or +220 88 0 55 99. Email lams_lamin@yahoo.co.uk

John S.A. Yusuf, Secretary General of CADS, in his letter to the Gambia Deaf Sports Association, said: “The Confederation of African Deaf Sports (CADS), the sole governing body of deaf sports under the structure of International Committee of Sports for the Deaf ICDS, wishes to confirm that Gambia Deaf Sports Association (GDSA) is one of our member federations with rights for football team and officials to participate in the above-mentioned competition in Accra, Ghana.”

The letter added: “The suspension of the Gambia National non-disabled football teams from all international football matches under the order of the FIFA/CAF is no longer in line with CADS status, having nothing to do with our beloved relationship with Gambia Deaf Association GDSA Football team.

“We strongly support their request for financial and materials assistance to participate in the tournament successfully. This will also support the empowerment policy of the government and make them productive.”

In conclusion it said: “We wish to thank you for your kind consideration and approval of their request.”



Disabled begging for money saddens me - Pozo Hayes


High-life musician Pozo Hayes says his condition as a physically challenged person has moved him to help make life less difficult for persons living with disabilities.

He is therefore embarking on a musical tour to raise funds for a charity project that will help the physically challenged in Ghanaian orphanages.

He is scheduled to perform at Bronx in New York, Woodbridge in Virginia and North Brunswick with his PH International Band by the end of this year.

The musician said it would be an honour to put smiles on the faces of persons living with disability especially those who have no one to cater for them.

“Although I cannot solve all the problems facing the physically challenged persons in Ghana, I believe my little contribution will help a lot,” he added.

He lamented that the physically challenged are mostly left on the streets and no attention is given them.

“It saddens my heart when I see physically challenged person on the streets begging for money. Because I am one, I feel like weeping when I come across them. The show is to raise funds for the physically challenged and the orphanages and I wish corporate bodies can come on board to help,” he added. The tour is being put together by Royal Community Services and Eternal Life Ministries in Somerset NJ, USA.

Known for songs like ‘Akeka akeka’, ‘Odo mu nsohwe’, ‘Obaa Lydia’, Pozo said he waited a long time to thrill his fans who have not heard from him in these few years.

Pozo was awarded Best Singer at the Entertainment Critics Reviewers Association of Ghana in 1988 and Voice of the Year at Sunshine Music Society the same year.




Lady Julia supports School for the Deaf

Ghana News Agency
Saturday 19th July, 2014
Lady Julia 2014

Lady Julia, Wife of the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II

Kumasi July 19, GNA- Lady Julia, Wife of the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, has donated GH¢ 5,000.00 to support the Ashanti School for the Deaf at Jamase in the Sekyere South District.
The money will be used to paint and decorate the newly constructed Deaf-Blind Centre, construct a water reservoir stand and purchase a tank for the school.

Dr Thomas Agyarko-Poku, Chief Executive of the Otumfuo Osei Tutu II Charity Foundation, who presented the cheque on behalf of Lady Julia, said it is part of her contribution towards the proper care of the inmates of the school.

He said it is important that society show greater interest in the training and upbringing of children with disabilities so that they do not become beggars on the street on future.

Mrs Charlotte Opoku, Head of Deaf- Blind Unit of the school, who received the cheque on behalf of the school, praised Lady Julia for her quick response to the plight of the inmates.

She said besides the cheque, Lady Julia had also donated foodstuffs and desks to assist the children in their learning.

Mrs Opoku said the Deaf-Blind Centre in the school, which is the second in the country, was established in 2009 to cater for children with such special disabilities in the northern sector of the country.

It currently has five children and three would be added next academic year.

Mrs Opoku said due to the multiple disabilities of some of the children, it had become necessary to renovate and expand the school infrastructure not only to be able to admit more of such children in the society but also make the environment conducive and friendly to all of them.

She said The Otumfuo Charity Foundation has been one of the leading supporters of the school and commended the management of the Foundation for their continued assistance.

Mrs Opoku called on other individuals and philanthropist organisations to assist the inmates with teaching and learning materials.



Lady Julia supports School for the Deaf

Lady Julia Osei Tutu

Lady Julia, Wife of the Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, has donated Ghc5,000.00 to support the Ashanti School for the Deaf at Jamase in the Sekyere South District.

The money will be used to paint and decorate the newly constructed Deaf-Blind Centre, construct a water reservoir stand and purchase a tank for the school.

Dr Thomas Agyarko-Poku, Chief Executive of the Otumfuo Osei Tutu II Charity Foundation, who presented the cheque on behalf of Lady Julia, said it is part of her contribution towards the proper care of the inmates of the school.

He said it is important that society show greater interest in the training and upbringing of children with disabilities so that they do not become beggars on the street on future.

Mrs Charlotte Opoku, Head of Deaf- Blind Unit of the school, who received the cheque on behalf of the school, praised Lady Julia for her quick response to the plight of the inmates.

She said besides the cheque, Lady Julia had also donated foodstuffs and desks to assist the children in their learning.

Mrs Opoku said the Deaf-Blind Centre in the school, which is the second in the country, was established in 2009 to cater for children with such special disabilities in the northern sector of the country.

It currently has five children and three would be added next academic year.

Mrs Opoku said due to the multiple disabilities of some of the children, it had become necessary to renovate and expand the school infrastructure not only to be able to admit more of such children in the society but also make the environment conducive and friendly to all of them.

She said The Otumfuo Charity Foundation has been one of the leading supporters of the school and commended the management of the Foundation for their continued assistance.

Mrs Opoku called on other individuals and philanthropist organisations to assist the inmates with teaching and learning materials.



Prof fights primitive stigma about special needs children

New Zimbabwe.com-
22/07/2014 00:00:00
by Suntimes.com

Many people are afraid of people with disabilities ... Lucia Mambure

LUCIA Mambure is determined to do the seemingly impossible in her home city of Harare, Zimbabwe: open a school for children with special needs.

The professor and mother of three is a progressive voice in a country where attitudes about people with disabilities can be primitive. She was in the United States recently to observe the folks at Elim Christian School in Palos Heights and meet with other leaders of the school’s international outreach program.

“Where I come from, many people are afraid of people with disabilities,” she said. The disabled, she said, are shunned, locked inside and often considered a curse on the family.

Mambure knows this first hand. Her oldest son, Tapona, has cerebral palsy. And while he has been able to attend school with his brothers thus far, Mambure has been notified several times that because he has turned 14, he will not be allowed to attend after this term. School ends for disabled children at this age, she said.

“What a child like that means to us is that you are stuck. You can’t go to work because without a school, where will you leave that child? You can’t visit your relatives. They don’t want him, they are afraid their kids will catch what he has,” she said. “You can’t do anything. But you need to support and feed your other children, too.”

One mother she knows leaves her child chained to a tree while she works in the field. “She is afraid if she leaves him unchained he will disappear or start a fire,” she said.

It is a common predicament in a country where, either because their husbands abandon them or they are trying to start a new life in a new land, many single mothers struggle to fend for themselves and their children, she said.

Mambure, who years ago successfully started four family support groups for parents of children with special needs, believes that all people have value, that everyone deserves an education and that children like her son have been created in God’s image. That, too, is the mission of Elim.

She is determined to enlighten the people of Harare and the professionals at Elim are determined to help.

“When I first came here in 2010 and saw Elim, that’s when I knew this thing was possible,” Mambure said.

Battling to change primitive societal attitudes ... Lucia Mambure (second from left) in the US

Through its donor-funded outreach program, Elim has given Mambure and others like her around the world support, training and materials.

“We communicate every month and sometimes every week, asking questions. They give us answers,” Mambure said. “Even though we are thousands and thousands of miles away, we can just call or email (or Skype) and ask them questions. That has been huge for me and for us.”

With Elim’s help, Mambure was able to develop a home-based training program for parents. So far, they have addressed such topics as communication, behaviour and toileting, said Jenna Hania, International Outreach Coordinator for Elim.

Complicating Mambure’s efforts is the severe lack of resources in Zimbabwe.
In 2008, the country suffered a political and economic meltdown. Many of the professionals fled the country, leaving an infrastructure of buildings but few to run the schools and hospitals and even fewer to supply the government with the funds it needs to operate such institutions.

Just before the collapse, in 2007, Mambure approached the minister of education about opening a school for children with disabilities.

She said the school psychologist told her, “My sister, if you can prove that these kids can learn then we can go and talk to the minister because when I talk to him about opening a school for them he says it is a waste of resources.”

Money is hard to come by in her nation that operates on a multi-currency basis, allowing residents to pay for goods with whatever money they have, from euros to yen, her chances of getting financial help seem especially bleak.

“When you don’t have a lot it becomes survival of the fittest. What that means is that those who are able-bodied get everything,” Mambure said.

Still, she is determined.

A school would help all of the children, especially those that are high functioning and who can become independent, realize their potential and find a place in society, she said.

It would dispel myths and open minds. And it would give parents time to work, study or just relax from the high pressure job of being a constant caregiver.

Jenna Hania, International Outreach Coordinator for Elim, is confident that if anyone can affect change in Harare, Mambure can.

“The people who run the ministries that we work with, most of them are women, have been incredibly successful,” she said.
“They are the driving force. We are super-intentional about not having a harmful presence. We are not there to show them how to do things, just to simply be there to supply support and answer questions.”



Gambia: Disabled Graduate Appeals for Support to Pursue Master's Degree in UK


Jebel Ceesay, a graduate of the University of The Gambia in BSc Political Science in 2013 has received admission to study his masters degree in International Law at the University of Edinburg in England.

He is expected to start his course in September, but one thing affecting him is the lack of sponsorship to foot the tuition fee.

Speaking to the Daily Observer, the physically disabled said he was looking forward to do his master's degree, and as a Political Science student most of the courses on master's degree are found outside the country.

"There was this call for master's programme through the University of The Gambia by the University of Edinburg in England for a graduate who is interested in LLB International Law Master's Programme for one year. I have been busy for the past five months working on the application process and thank God I have got the admission," he told this reporter. The one year study, he says will cost about 15, 850 Pounds plus maintenance fee of 9, 840 Pounds. "I do not have the funds to support myself and as a physical disabled, I am now appealing for support from the president of the Republic and the general public to help me undergo this course. I don't really want to lose this opportunity," he concluded. Meanwhile, anyone willing to support can contact the following numbers: (+220) 6554101 or 7840522.



Centre for visually impaired needs land

New Era-
Kavango EastmNational14 hours ago
By John Muyamba

RUNDU - The centre for the visually impaired at Sauyemwa has requested the Rundu Town Council to give it land to build a proper centre.

Currently the centre operates from a piece of land that still belongs to the town council.

Kangenengene Immanuel who is the founder of the centre told New Era they have been living at the plot since 2008 after requesting to be settled there by the town council.

He says they want a permanent plot of their own as they fear being evicted.

They have also appealed for financial assistance as they are “really in need”.

“When we came here there were a lot of bushes and shrubs but the town council said we could use the plot on condition we cleaned the area and put up a proper structure,” said Kangenengene.

Kangenengene said that over the past few years they received numerous promises of asssitance to improve the centre but their potential benefactors were constrained by the fact that the land targetted for a new modern centre belongs to council.

This prompted Kangenengene and a group of other virsually impaired people to seek an audience with the council to request land.

The CEO of Rundu Town Council, Romanus Haironga, said the council was looking into the issue.

“They asked for the land in 2008 and the town council leased them the plot,” Haironga stated.

“I later realised that people like them really need assistance,” he said.

He said the council earlier this year sent a team to assess their water, food and sanitation needs and to gather information on how best it could assist them.

“I have received some feedback on that and will look at the matter with the council,” said Haironga.

On the issue of land, he said council’s major concern was that the centre was not yet registered and that giving them land could result in such land being registered under the name of an individual.

Haironga said currently the centre leases the land but that council wouldl look into the issue of exempting it from paying for the lease and land tax. The centre wouold also have to be registered through the Ministry of Trade and Industry as a non-profit making entity.

The centre shelters people who are visuaslly impaired, both male and female.



Gambia Deaf Scorpions Solicits Support From Gambians


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Members of the Gambia Deaf Scorpions are soliciting support from the government, the private sector, stakeholders, institutions, NGOs, companiesindividuals to participate in the upcoming first-ever Africa Deaf Cup of Nations scheduled for 4 through 25 October 2014 in Accra, Ghana.

Many African countries have already confirmed their participation of the first Africa Cup of Nations for the Deaf and The Gambia also want to participate in the competition but due to financial constraints they are finding it difficult to prepare for and play in the championship.

The association is therefore pleading with the general public, the government, the private sector, NGOs and other donor bodies to come to their aid to be able to participate in the tournament, which runs from 4 to 25 October this year.

The Participation fee of U$S5,00 from each participating federation should be paid directly to CADS Bank Accountto enable CADS finalize everything with Ghana Organizing Committee, the association states, adding: "We need help to let CADS serve us better in time. CADS count on our support towards the successful organization of ADFCN 2014."

"We also have to pay audiogram fee of U$S20 per player for 18 players & insurance fee of U$S30 per player and official."

It says all participating fees covered can be used for the purchase of original trophies, and diplomas, golden boot, medals, advertisement, local buses for players and officials, and other logistics and administrative cost.

Participating teams will arrive in Ghana on 2 October, while audiogram and accreditation and the championship is set to commence on 4 October 2014.

The 2014 draw for the 2014 Africa Deaf Football Cup of National are as follows.








‘The deaf marginalised, tough to get Govt services’

The Swazi Observer 26/07/2014 12:01:00By Ackel Zwane

The deaf are so neglected by government they can almost hear their misery, they do not even have interpreters in their welfare offices throughout the kingdom, which is their only sanctuary.
One deaf pregnant patient was reported to have been turned away to bring with her an interpreter if she was to be attended at a hospital in Manzini. This sparked outrage among other patients who called this newspaper, but the patient had already left the health institution when reporters arrived.

When going for the HIV test results, the deaf are forced to discuss their status through an interpreter who is not even a specialist in communicating HIV and AIDS messages or information. It had transpired that in nearly all government spheres the deaf are not accommodated for services. The most crucial is the country’s hospitals and surprisingly Good Shepherd in Siteki, the heartland of the deaf, has not a single Sign Language interpreter.

Fanelo Zikhali, a Sign Language specialist says he approached one of the key ministries with a view of having him employed as a sign language specialist but no one bothered to reply him.
“I have the capacity to train Sign Language to large groups. I also wish to be trained to interpret for HIV testing because some deaf people are unable to communicate either in writing or spoken language but only through signs, terminology for other disciplines such as HIV can be hard.

” Zikhali claims to have a number of his students who are holders of HIV testing certificates but have no prospects of being hired by the hospitals at the end of their training. He made reference to media reports that some recruits who passed out from the police college were trained in Sign Language but only that he doubted their effectiveness because Sign Language could not be mastered by attending a workshop or brief and disintegrated lessons. He says Sign Language requires adequate time and specialisation because it begins with basics before communication (which is a course in communicating with the deaf) and thirdly interpretation. “Trainees need time and contact with deaf people and that cannot be possible in a five-day workshop. In the case of the patient sent back to look for an interpreter instead of being assisted, it is very painful. Surprisingly, normal patients who have language problems such as siSwati or English get the assistance they need, they are not turned away to bring interpreters.”

Former Senator Tom Mndzebe who represented people with disabilities in parliament says he communicated the need for Sign Language to the deputy prime minister and the ministry of health but for now he could not say much because the deaf have their own association. However, this association is only by name as it has no physical offices after it failed to raise money for rent and got kicked out.

.............We’ve trained a few in Sign Language - Cops

The police, on the other hand, say a few of their charges underwent training in Sign Language but as to whether effective or not it depended on the numbers, that if more police officers are trained in sign language the more effective it will be. Deputy Public Relations Officer Khulekani Mamba suggested a protracted programme in order to include more officers. He said he was, however, unaware whether there was any deaf police officer among their ranks, “may be this is what we should consider for the future.”

Our job requires full senses but with time - Mzuthini

His Majesty’s Correctional Services Commissioner General Isaiah Mzuthini Ntshangase says the nature of the work of prisons requires officers to possess all the senses; they must see, listen and talk.He is quick, however, to note that with recent developments the correctional institution might consider taking deaf people with different specialties into their ranks given the changes that take place around and within them.

“But since jobs are diversified who knows, in the future we might consider deploying them to workstations where they would be effective and efficient without disadvantaging them. We are not about security alone, suppose there comes to me a chaplain, a psychologist, a chaplain who excel in the particular area despite the disability, why not take them?”
While security services such as the army, police and correctional require people with complete senses, they still pry into the private lives of deaf people with specialisations in Sign Language.

There is an ongoing case of a deaf murder suspect at the High Court, one Sandziso Lukhele who required the services of a Sign Language specialist from investigations, documents preparation up to trial yet the police did not have a single Sign Language specialist among their ranks but use external hands.

Deaf people we interviewed allege that quite often government hires people who claim to know Sign Language but could only go as far as waving the fingers in the fashion of ‘Hello’ and nothing more. “It is the very government that refuses to employ people with disabilities, especially the deaf. Government is the first culprit. Hire people with disabilities so that they develop others within the operations floor.” Last December, in what was dubbed the mother of all embarrassment, a fake Sign Language interpreter standing on stage with world leaders during Nelson Mandela’s funeral used his own invented signs and appeared to be dishing out the right stuff. It was not until the national director of the deaf federation of South Africa Bruno Druchen picked it up that Thami Jantji was a fake. He did not use the South African Sign Language at all.



State School for the Deaf re-named

Sunday 27th July , 2014 12:01 pm

The State School for the Deaf at Adjei Kojo, near Tema, was on Thursday re-named Dr Seth Tetteh Ocloo School for the Deaf, in honour of its founder.

The school, which was established in 1966 by Dr Ocloo, is one of the special public schools in the country to educate students with hearing impairment.

Dr Ocloo, who was born in 1932, lost his hearing in 1952 when he contracted cerebro spinal meningitis.

Despite his hearing challenge, Dr Ocloo continued his education and became the first hearing-impaired person in Africa to complete his Bachelor Degree programme in 1964.

Dr Ocloo, who is also the first hearing-impaired Ghanaian to obtain a Doctorate in Philosophy (Ph. D), is also the Founder of the Ghana National Association of the Deaf (GNAD).

Miss Barbara Ennin, Headmistress of the School, recounted that the school which was then known as Osu Deaf Mission Centre, was taken over by government in 1969, and was re-named State School for the Deaf.

Miss Ennin added that the school moved from different locations since its establishment, before settling at its current location at Adjei Kojo in the Tema Metropolis.

She added that the school holds the philosophy that, with the appropriate level of technological teaching and family support, hearing impaired students would be equipped to follow a full secondary curriculum and ultimately become confident and independent adults.

On the achievements of the school, she indicated that Dr Seth Ocloo State School for the Deaf recorded a 100 per cent pass in the 2012 and 2013 Basic Education Certificate Examinations (BECE), among other laurels in extra curriculum activities.

The school’s challenges include uncompleted boys dormitory which started in 1999, the payment of transport fares by parents to fuel government vehicles to convey the children to school, and many others.

Dr Ocloo thanked the GNAD and the Ministry of Education for initiating the re-naming of the school, and accepting the suggestion respectively.

He appealed to the Tema Development Corporation (TDC) to issue him with a permit for his property at Adjei Kojo to enable him get closer to the school, as well as to be accessible to the larger hearing-impaired community.

The GNAD presented a citation to Dr Ocloo to appreciate and recognize his contributions to their education and well-being.



Vital op for deaf girl put off

Independent Online
July 31 2014 at 04:32pm
By Tebogo Monama

Comment on this story
IOL ST Ear Girl 155

Cash problems have stalled an operation that would improve Amyoli Gina Ngewu's hearing. Photo: Boxer Ngwenya

Pretoria - Two-year-old Gina Ngewu was due to undergo a life-changing operation on Thursday, but because of a lack of funds, the little girl might live in her soundless world for ever.

Gina, of Atteridgeville, was diagnosed with auditory neuropathy spectrum disorder (ANSD) when she was a few months old and now uses a hearing aid and sign language to communicate.

Her audiologist, Nicolize Cass, of the Pretoria Cochlear Unit based at the University of Pretoria, said without a cochlear implant, the little girl would never be able to hear. She said because of the severity of her condition, Gina received only minimal sound from her hearing aid. A cochlear implant would be her only hope of hearing.

Cass said at least 10 percent of all deaf people had ANSD. She said the cochlear implant would electrically stimulate Gina’s hearing nerves. The implant has an internal portion that is surgically placed under the skin and an external portion that sits behind the ear.

“Even if we do not do the operation now, the condition will not get worse, but it will delay her speech and language skills.”

Gina lip reads and uses sign language and minimal verbal communication. The cochlear implant costs about R350 000 and the family’s medical aid has agreed to pay R270 000. Now, Gina’s mother, Samkelo, 23, still needs to raise the outstanding R80 000. Gina is her first child.

The operation was supposed to be done at the Zuid Afrikaans Hospital on Thursday but has been postponed until the funds become available.

To raise the funds, Samkelo and the Hear Always Foundation Trust have opened a trust account and are asking the public for donations.

Trust chairwoman Janet van Graan said: “Time is running out for the little girl. If her brain is not stimulated by sound as early as possible she might have problems communicating in the future.

Samkelo said: “I realised that there was a problem when she did not respond to rattling toys or when she slept even if there was loud noise.

“She also did not react when her name was called. Otherwise she was a normal child.”

She took the child for tests and it was discovered she had ANSD. “I decided to leave school and take care of her full time, because I did not want her to be treated differently from other children.

“Three pre-schools have told me they cannot take care of her because of her condition,” she said.

Donations can be deposited in the following account: Hear Always Foundation Trust, Standard Bank, Trust account number: 411351605. Branch code: 012645, swift code: SBZAZAJJ. Reference: Gina Ngewu.




Zimbabwe: Give Free Education to the Disabled - Nyagura


Government must introduce free education for people living with disabilities, University of Zimbabwe Vice Chancellor, Professor Levi Nyagura, has said.

Speaking at the National Disability Expo held in the capital on Friday, Prof Nyagura said it was important for Government to introduce free education for people with disabilities from primary school to tertiary level.

"As a nation, we need to seriously consider the needs of people with disabilities. Central Government should introduce free education for people with disabilities from primary level up to tertiary level.

"Universities should holistically consider the disabled and assist them by providing user-friendly assistive devices in their studies," he said. He added that education was able to transform the lives of marginalised people in society.

"Education is central to efforts to empower people with disabilities and it can transform their lives. We should know that one is not a lesser Zimbabwean by being disabled," said Prof Nyagura.

He said the nation should draw lessons from Paul Matavire who, despite being blind, produced music which appealed to people from different backgrounds without a trace of his disabilities.

Speaking at the same occasion, national advisor on disability issues in the Office of the President and Cabinet, Rtd Brig-General Felix Muchemwa, said the law was not providing enough for the disabled.

"Our legislation is silent about the disabled. People with disability must be represented at all levels and their contributions have to be acknowledged. Legislators must embrace all Zimbabweans as equals regardless of disabilities or physical appearance," he said.

He added that the expo helped in creating awareness of different issues affecting the disabled.

Chairperson and Special councillor for disabilities in the Office of the President and Cabinet, Gift Mabhaudhi said the expo provided a platform for key stakeholders to interact, develop synergies and share experiences relating to people living with disabilities.



Tanzania: Special Secondary Schools for the Deaf Needed

By Deus Ngowi

Moshi - EFORTS should be made to make sure that deaf students in the country are enrolled in their own special secondary schools to boost their academic performance.

The move has been advocated by several education stakeholders here, who include tutors and university students who pointed out that by doing so it will give them an opportunity to learn freely in a conducive environment.

Speaking here recently, the head teacher of Msandaka Primary School which is a special for the deaf, Ms Hellen Kiwelu said the current system denies the students clear opportunities to get quality education.

Ms Kiwelu said the current situation where deaf students are enrolled in ordinary secondary schools after completing their primary education without being afforded special treatment that would otherwise catapult them to their peak of success hampers their academic capacity.

She said that with the degree of deafness affecting students makes it difficult to learn in ordinary secondary schools, hence the need to furnish the schools with special gadgets like hearing aids to assist them.

Deafness, according to experts, ranges from normal hearing sensitivity, minimal or slight hearing loss, mild hearing loss, moderate hearing loss, moderately severe hearing loss, and severe hearing loss to profound hearing loss.

Msandaka Primary School which is situated within Moshi Municipality is special for deaf pupils and has a curriculum and system which prepares children with the disability to gain quality education, but the efforts are affected when they are required to proceed to secondary schools.

"The current system is a barrier to students because while in primary school they are used to 'sign system' and other hearing aids, therefore they encounter setbacks when in secondary schools because they cannot understand well lessons that are taught in the mainstream schools.

problem they face is that such secondary schools do not have teachers who are specialized in teaching the deaf," said Ms Kiwelu. She said that deaf students with a variety of hearing levels are supposed to be put in a system that addresses their differences and individual needs.



Tanzania: Disabled Plead for Friendly Infrastructure in Stadiums

By Deus Ngowi

Moshi - A PARAPLEGIC Sports activist, Deogratius Chami, has called upon games stakeholders to consider erecting friendly infrastructure for people with disabilities in pitches used for various sports.

Speaking, Chami (29), who is Arts Graduate in Community Economic Development from Moshi University College of Cooperative and Business Studies (MUCCoBS), said it is pertinent that people with disabilities get their fair share in sporting events.

Chami, who endured paraplegia at young age from a sand rubble in Kibosho, said there are so many people with different types of disabilities willing to participate in sports activities but are denied just because of their status.

He called upon stakeholders, who have started renovations of Majengo Stadium, those bound to uplift King George's Memorial Stadium at Soweto, and Siha modern stadium planners to consider putting in place facilities for those with impairment.

"We call upon the stakeholders to make sure there are facilities for the people with disabilities because they also deserve to enjoy sports events like others.

Stadia should have washrooms and dressing rooms special for them," said the graduate, who is on the job market.

He said he used to play tennis at Majengo Stadium but had to bring it to an end because his wheelchair tear and wear was so rapid, as the game needs special chairs so that players can turn around as fast as required by the trend of the job.

He asked for benefactors for such equipment. Chami, who has been active in athletics and participates in annual marathon tournaments, asked stakeholders at Moshi Club and Ushirika Club to facilitate the persons with disabilities to feature in golf courses. Chami was sixth out of more than 50 participants in this year's Kilimanjaro Marathon.



Addressing disabled could reduce poverty

Zambia Daily Mail
Written by Online Editor

MOST people involved in development have not been directly associated with people with disabilities or their issues.

They may, therefore, not appreciate the extent to which people with disabilities and their families are excluded, impoverished, and marginalised within a vicious poverty-disability cycle.

It is a two-way relationship - disability adds to the risk of poverty, and conditions of poverty increase the risk of disability.

The “invisibility and isolation” of people with disabilities are caused by stigma, discrimination, myths, misconceptions, and ignorance.

Only by a thorough analysis of this experience from research, evaluation, and input from people with disabilities, can society build a sound understanding and development strategy.

However, the reality is that little research and development programming have been conducted to find best ways of breaking the cycle.

The needs and issues of people with disabilities are not being fully addressed.

There is need to include more women and people from rural communities in decision-making, strengthening management capacity and accessing current information on disability and development trends and best practice.

Given the opportunity, development experts could advance the disability development process by providing people with disabilities and their communities with the opportunity to participate and be engaged.

One of the reasons for the lack of disability-focused programming may be lack of appreciation of the role and impact that this distinct vulnerable population - people with disabilities and their families - has on advancing the development process.

The millennium development goals (MDGs), which represent key policy directions for targeting income, poverty reduction, health, environment and other sectors, make no reference to the needs of people with disabilities.

To date, the reality is that neither sector-wide nor sector-specific programmes are satisfactorily reaching people with disabilities and their families.

This includes humanitarian aid programmes and policies and initiatives specific to gender, children, adolescents, youth, aged and minority groups.

Most disability programmes are relegated to non-governmental organisation (NGO)-based activities.

They are small-scale and are not included in national and international poverty reduction strategies.

Involvement in disability programming by country partners and the development agencies that support them has been negligible.

However, there is recent evidence, albeit inconsistent and incremental, that disability is on the development agenda and that future programming may increase.

Major development agencies are demonstrating efforts to raise the profile and importance of addressing the needs of people with disabilities in development planning and programming.

They include the Africa Development Bank (ADB), the World Bank, Japan International Co-operation Agency (JICA), Finnish International Development Agency (FINNIDA) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

The others are Norwegian Agency for Development (NORAD), and United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), which are key multilateral international organisations in the region partnering with organisations representing people with disabilities to advance disability policy-making and programming.

The author is a disability rights activist.



Uganda: Kibo Foundation to Help Uganda's Disabled Youth Attain ICT

By Lilian Mutegi

KiBO Foundation, a social enterprise focused on developing skills and unleashing the capacity of youth through ICT skills in Uganda, has started a programme in Entebbe to help young people with disabilities attain IT skills.

The programme by KIBO is expected to benefit over 350 youth in the municipal therefore help generate change in terms of providing schools with content that will open up their minds to becoming great leaders and entrepreneurs.

Abraham Temu, MD, KiBO said: "KiBO Foundation, Cisco and Entebbe Municipality officially launched a Community Knowledge Center (CKC) to provide members of rural communities' and especially the deaf access to technology, to enable them find jobs, start businesses, gain education, and increase their financial self-sufficiency."

The project is set to help people with hearing difficulties acquire IT knowledge to make them better suited for the job market

Temu also added that the Entebbe CKC was started two years ago and has to date trained hundreds of community members including the youth and teachers, who later are awarded with certificates of accomplishment. He said "this will act as a demonstration centre from which youths will have access to the best technology in the world unlike the current situation where students find difficulty in research because of lack of information centres."

This programme is part of commitment by Cisco a global IT company to provide useful content and technology to disadvantaged groups in Africa so that they too can have access to what is happening around the globe.

"Through engaging municipalities in developing strategies that affect the young people challenge their mindsets, we hope this will open up their minds to being great thinkers and pillars of change in their communities." Temu said.

KiBO hopes to set up seven more centres in other parts of Uganda including Nebbi, Gulu, Amuru, Entebbe, Ntugamo, and Lira.

In 2013, Cisco funded six CKCs across Uganda - Entebbe, Gulu, Lira, Nebbi, Ngora and Ntungamo Districts, with KiBO Foundation as the lead implementer; similar centers have been implemented across Africa to enable rural communities have access to Information Communications Technology.



Grafton Disabled benefit from Ebola sensitization

Sierra Express Media
August 7, 2014

Grafton Disabled Community

By: SEM on August 7, 2014.

Information reaching this press indicates that Grafton Disabled Community has benefitted a day sensitization activity on Ebola.

The sensitization activity was carried by Malisha Da Queen Foundation an outstanding charitable Disabled Organization in the country an activity that attracted a good number of disabled persons within the community.

According to the Secretary General of the organization, NeloJay, said they have decided to undertake the exercise because disabled persons are more vulnerable to any outbreak of disease and as such they needed to be schooled properly on the danger it poses.

He pointed out that, even though the Chief Executive Officer of the organization Malish Da Queen is out of the country she has great love and passion for persons with disability in the country adding the reason she has sent preventive materials against the disease including soap and other defensive materials to protect themselves against this deadly virus.

One of the beneficiaries, Adama Sesay, thanked the CEO for considering them at a time the country is at a trying moment.

She called on other charitable organizations to emulate the good work of Malisha Da Queen Foundation to help contain this deadly virus out of the country.

Other disabled persons shared similar sentiment towards the fight against Ebola.

The sensitization was climaxed with the distribution of Chlorine, soap and water containers.

- See more at: http://www.sierraexpressmedia.com/?p=69767#sthash.KDpUg0RN.dpuf



Ghana: Mobility Skills Training Workshop for Visually Impaired

By Matilda Ansah

The Department of Social Welfare of the Twifo Atti-Morkwa District has organised a three day mobility skill training workshop for the visually impaired in the district.

Speaking at the programme the District Chief Executive Mr. Bossman Osei Hyiamang Jnr. admonished the participants not to be down hearted for being visually impaired but to rather take good care of themselves so as to live long. He urged them to take the workshop seriously and also apply everything that they would be thought at the workshop. He pledged to release their share of Common Fund on time so as to ensure their well -being.

Mr. Mustapha Okine the District Social Welfare Officer said most often the visually impaired did not know what to do when they were left alone hence the need for the workshop. The purpose of the workshop he noted was to train them to do things on their own where there was no help. It also to enable them to know how to use the white cane he added.

He then took them through the disability law. Among the topics treated were the Concept of Disability, the Disability Act, Advocacy and Entrepreneurship, District Assembly Common Fund (DACF)-Guidance to disability share support, Activities for daily living, History and background of white cane, Usage of importance of white cane, Techniques of moving white cane among others.



Deaf Muslims Struggle for Their Faith

OnIslam & Newspapers
Tuesday, 12 August 2014 00:00

Nashiru Abdulai, co-founder of Global Deaf Muslim, is shown at the launch of the organization's Toronto chapter in February 2014.

CAIRO - Offering hearing impaired Muslims an access to their faith, a growing American group has been struggling to spread awareness about problems facing deaf Muslims wishing to practice their religion, perform prayers, attend sermons and recite the Noble Qur’an.

“Every time I’d go to a mosque, I’d sit there and I’d just watch the speaker and I couldn’t understand a word that person was saying,” Nashiru Abdulai, 38-year old Ghanaian-born Virginian, who has been deaf since contracting meningitis at the age of 10, told Desert News through an interpreter.

Finding no interpretation services at the mosque, he gave up trying to access the mosque for a time.

The Open Heart of a Deaf Muslim

How the Deaf & the Mute Offer Salah

With same problem facing estimated 55 million hearing impaired Muslims, Abdulai decided to fulfill an earlier promise he made to other young Ghanaian when he left to America at the age of 19, establishing an organization for deaf Muslims.

He started Global Deaf Muslims (GDM) in 2005 to address the rights and needs of deaf Muslims across the globe.

The organization sets its vision on its website as “A Muslim Ummah that recognizes the rights of deaf Muslims and actively strives to ensure that it is accessible and inclusive of all Muslims.”

“To advocate for the advancement and inclusion of Deaf Muslims in the Muslim Ummah and to raise awareness of Deaf Muslims issues within the broader Muslim community,” it adds in its mission

GDM now has chapters in California, Virginia, Minnesota, Illinois and Texas ? as well as in Canada and Ghana.

It is also raising $480,000 to fund the project of translating the Qur’ an to American Sign Language (ASL).

“Information about Islam is seldom available in sign language, making it difficult to educate deaf Muslims about Islam and for individuals to conduct their own research,” GDM explains on its website ? describing the situation as a “systematic exclusion of Deaf Muslims” from mosques and Islamic organizations.


For hearing impaired Muslims, the biggest problem facing them is the lack of awareness of their existence.

Daoud Nassimi, a professor of Islam at Shenandoah University and Nova College who is helping GDM to translate the Quran into ASL, points out that even when leaders are aware of their existence, they are not aware of their needs.

“The first thing that they need is interpreters,” he says.

He added that with few Muslim interpreters, mosque leaders have to be convinced to hire interpreters for Friday sermons (Khutbah), talks, classes and other occasions for the deaf community.

“They need to be convinced that many deaf members exist in their communities, and those members cannot come and benefit from the mosque and programs unless there are interpreters available,” Nassimi says.

“They should be convinced that the money that they would spend on hiring the interpreters is really worthy of this important cause.”

Inadequate numbers of interpreters is not the only challenge to serving the deaf.

Most interpreters are not taught how to sign religious terms to interpret religious thoughts and beliefs.

To address that issue in Islam, the Qatari Social and Cultural Center for the Deaf presented delegates at the first international conference on deaf Muslims last November with a 376-page Islamic sign language dictionary developed with other Arabic signing communities.

But the problem for Americans is it was in Arabic Sign Language. Most Americans use American Sign Language. Any dictionary of Islamic terms must be universally accepted by deaf Muslims everywhere, Abdulai says.

Moreover, scholars should encourage sign language translations so that deaf Muslims can receive the word of God on the same terms as anyone else.

“There is a kind of acceptance right now in translation that there is absolutely no way that you could just simply always find an ideal translation to anything,” Salah Basalamah, an associate professor at the University of Ottawa’s School of Translation and Interpretation, said.



Ndove to help the disabled

Mmegi Online

FRANCISTOWN: Deputy Mayor of Francistown, Joyce Ndove is on her last lap of her term, and already she is making plans on how to actively help people with disabilities. ByPINI BOTHOKO Tue 12 Aug 2014, 11:46 am (GMT +2)

Ndove, a member of the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC), said she will not be contesting the coming elections. A mother with a disabled child, she said that there is a need for all to be committed and involved in helping the government to take care of the disabled in their communities.

Ndove explained that raising a child with disabilities is a challenge that requires everyone’s involvement. He pleaded that it should not be the responsibility of the parents raising children with disabilities alone. She said most people with disabilities are faced and highly affected by poverty due to their condition as compared to normal people. She said it is because some of them are not able to go out and ask for government initiatives to empower themselves. She said that her mission is to help people with disabilities discover themselves and make them able to go out in public to seek help like other people.

“There are so many people and companies that are willing to help people with disabilities but do not have access to those organisations. “I wish to see the council giving disabled people an office from where they can be assisted,” she said.

She said that an organisation of people with disabilities was formed back in 2012 but hey have no office where interested individuals and companies can find them. “I think this will be a place where they can be accessible. I promise to stand up and help them. “I plead with the government to give them an office. People living with disabilities in Francistown have been left behind for quite some time. “Also, I think gone are the days where families with people like this hide them at the back of their homes. “My intention is to be involved in their lives, establish their talents and help them find a way of making use of their talents. “The government has formed initiatives meant to empower people with disabilities, but most of these people do not know anything about the initiatives. “I will make sure that I help them find assistance and are aware of the government programmes so as to empower themselves, “ she said.

- See more at: http://www.mmegi.bw/index.php?aid=45130#sthash.IExN2jF6.dpuf



Kenya: Persons With Disability in Bungoma Support for Referendum

By Elizabeth Were

PERSONS with disabilities in Bungoma county have supported the governors' push for a natiopnal referendum. County representative Martin Wanyonyi said the referendum seeks to devolve more funds to counties to implement development projects.

"He said people with disabilities need more funds in counties to support their programmes. "We propose the establishment of a framework through which people with disabilities can also elect their own representatives in the national and county assemblies," Wanyonyi said in a statement yesterday.

He said the current framework for nomination by political parties is bias against people with disabilities. "This amendment will strengthen the level of representation of these groups to ensure effective, competitive, legitimate and accountable representation,"Wanyonyi said.



Disabled soldiers getting into sport

New Vision-
Publish Date: Aug 13, 2014
By Luke Kagiri

The Uganda Peoples Defence Force (UPDF) has started special games for the soldiers with disabilities. Among the games is the wheelchair basketball and sitting volleyball.

At the Chieftaincy of Mubende Rehabilitation Centre (CMRC) also known as casualty barracks there are over one thousand solders with disabilities.

The army has however started construction of pitches for the different games and some are already in use.

Col Gyaviira Kibirango, the commandant of CMRC, said many of the UPDF soldiers participating in the games are living a better life.

Kibirango adds that, they are planning to further train the soldiers so that they can participate in national and international events.

Some of the soldiers who spoke to New Vision explained that they are willing to develop their talents though they still lack some facilities like the wheelchairs.

Lt. David Ochan, the wheelchair basketball coach, said they are focused on serious training in anticipation to participate in national and international competitions.



Trio hijack disabled man

Independent Online-
August 13 2014 at 02:40pm By BOTHO MOLOSANKWE
Independent Newspapers

Johannesburg - Three men hijacked a man with a disability, shot his mother and brother, then took off in his new BMW and his wheelchair.

The 36-year-old man arrived at his Eden Park home from work at about 8pm on Tuesday.

He hooted to indicate that someone should come out and open the gate for him.

Police spokesman Captain Tsekiso Mofokeng said that while the man was waiting, a car pulled up behind him.

Three armed men got out and approached him.

Because of his disability, the man was unable to get out of the car and a scuffle ensued.

The hijackers struggled to get him out of the car.

“At that moment, his mother was approaching and she screamed when she saw the men struggling with her son,” Mofokeng said.

“She joined the men in trying to get her son out of the car so that they could take the car.

“She started pulling him out and, in the mayhem, she was shot in the arm.”

When the man’s brother heard his mother’s screams he ran to see what the commotion was about and was shot in the right thigh.

As the man lay on the ground, the hijackers made off with the car, which the disabled man had collected earlier on Tuesday.

They also drove off with his wheelchair and laptop, among other items. It’s not known yet whether the car was modified.

A case of attempted murder and hijacking has been opened.

- The Star



Malawi Govt Launches New Disability Directory

By Pauline Kaude

Lilongwe - Minister of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare, Patricia Kaliati, Monday launched the 2014 Disability Directory in Lilongwe replacing the previous one which was last updated in 2005.

The directory which has been developed by the Ministry of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare, and the Baylor College of Medicine Children's Foundation provides a list of organizations that are involved in provision of care and support to persons with disabilities.

Kaliati said her ministry decided to update the 2005 directory to include new stakeholders as it believes that it will provide an increased access to services amongst people with disabilities and also ensuring that service delivery and networking among disability service organizations in the country are well coordinated.

"Disability is crosscutting in nature hence it has many players in this field, there are different stakeholders who intervene to ensure relevant equalization of the opportunities for persons with disabilities.

"It is these stakeholders that this Disability Directory is trying to provide a good link to make implementation of the policy on equal opportunities for persons with disabilities easy," said Kaliati.

She called on all stakeholders to use the directory which will be made available to all districts throughout the country.

According to the Minister, disability issues are being mainstreamed in the public sector to ensure inclusiveness of persons with disabilities at all levels.

During the function, the National Initiative for Civic Education (NICE) offered to reproduce copies of the directory and distribute it through its libraries across the country to ensure that many people are able to access it.

The Baylor College of Medicine Children's Foundation Malawi through its Tingathe programme initiated the process of updating the directory with funding from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).



Namibia: Poor Education Concerns Deaf Association


THE association for the deaf in Namibia yesterday met the Minister of Education to express concerns with the way the government is treating its members regarding access to education.

Among the concerns raised by the Namibian National Association of the Deaf (NNAD), is that its members can only go up to Grade 10 because there are no facilities to enable them to acquire further education.

The association says it has 27 000 members, while according to the 2011 census, there were more than 600 deaf learners.

The association's national director, Paul Nanyeni, told education minister David Namwandi that there are only two schools that cater solely for the deaf in the country, and four other units for the deaf.

Nanyeni said the two schools - Eluwa Special School in Ongwediva and the National Institute for Special Education in Windhoek - only offer classes up to Grade 10.

"We do not have secondary schools for the deaf learners. This is very discouraging to the deaf learners as they cannot see the possibility of succeeding through the mainstream system that is practised," said Nanyeni.

The association's director also said national examinations are issued without any special arrangement for the pupils and that in some cases, the pupils are examined on a syllabus they would not have been taught.

"Equipment in the special schools is not sufficient to promote visual learning. Deaf learners' teaching and learning are promoted by more visual cues," he explained.

He also said another challenge is that the teachers employed at these schools are not well-trained in sign language, which at times makes communication impossible, because appointed teachers have to shift from spoken to sign language.

"This is more true when the appointed sign language interpreters are not well-experienced and make daily learning cumbersome to the learners," said Nanyeni, adding that this is a challenging task.

He added that some teachers are not conversant in sign language and are not properly offered support to attain the full level of language proficiency.

Nanyeni bemoaned the fact that government is not employing qualified deaf assistant teachers for schools where there are units for the deaf.

He gave the example of Cosmos High School in Khomas and Mweshipandeka SS in Oshana where he said the services rendered to the pupils are very poor.

In addition, he said there are times when a teacher with no experience to teach sign language is appointed, while experienced teachers are overlooked.

"Sign language interpreters appointed to assist those learners are not experienced either, and this make the learning process very difficult for the deaf learners," he claimed. "Some of such situations are a result of poor consultation between the deaf organisation and the stakeholders in education. The advice of NNAD is disregarded."

Namwandi yesterday said the meeting was fruitful: "All parties vowed to continue with consultation."

The education ministry's deputy director for special programmes and schools, Inani Kahikuata, said it was expensive to hire interpreters and that the ministry could not afford to have a teacher and an interpreter in one classroom.

"The only way the ministry can solve this problem is to train teachers in sign language because it is too expensive to pay interpreters," said Kahikuata, adding that her ministry in conjunction with the University of Namibia was training teachers in sign language.

Kahikuata said the ministry to have an interpreter and a teacher in one classroom but it is introducing a new system.

"Now we have introduced the new system to have teachers teaching subjects and interpreting in sign language," she said.

She also proposed that there is a need for the association for the deaf to work with the education ministry to enhance skills.



MMD is like a dead dog with ticks, says Nixon Chilangwa

Zambian Watchdog
August 14, 2014 | Filed under: Breaking News | Posted by: Chilekwa

PF Luapula province chairperson and home affairs deputy minister Nixon Chilangwa has likened MMD to a dead dog and that all the members are like ticks which will be buried with the dog. But the MMD has asked Chilangwa to shut up if his party has no solutions for the country.

Chilangwa, flanked by other provincial leaders was speaking during a campaign rally for the forthcoming Milenge’s Mumbotutwa ward by election. He further said that MMD had even started rotting, according to the pro PF newspaper the Post.

But MMD Copperbelt province chairman Joseph Zulu says if PF has nothing to offer to Zambians, Chilangwa must shut up. Zulu said the MMD was not fighting a physical but spiritual battle with PF and was confident of bouncing back into power in 2016. He also said Chilangwa has never issued any sane statement showing that he is a capable leader.

A fortnight ago, Chilangwa accused MMD cadres of mocking him for his physical disability by refering to him as’ ichilema (handicapped man}’. He claimed that he had overcome any stigma concerning his disability but MMD President Nevers Mumba said Chilangwa was trying to use his physical disability to win political sympathy and denied his members ever mocking the minister who walks with a permanent limp which looks like one of his legs is much shorter and smaller than the other.



Zambia: Plight of the Deaf


THIS week I bring to you the plight of deaf children in terms of education as it is argued by most organisations of deaf people that deaf children have the right to access education in their first language - the sign language of their home community.

Increasingly, sign language is being recognised as the first language of deaf people and has been formally recognised in the constitutions of Sweden, South Africa, Uganda and the draft constitution of Zambia which I feel has addressed a number of rights for persons with disabilities in general.

The World Federation of the Deaf argues that inclusion in school and society on an equal basis is only possible when deaf children have access to sign language.

Article 21 of the Salamanca Framework for Action states that "owing to the particular communication needs of deaf and deaf/blind persons, their education may be more suitably provided in special schools or special classes and units in mainstream schools".

In southern countries, however, majority of the deaf children do not have access to education in schools for deaf children, or in the medium of sign language.

Since majority of deaf children have the option of being educated in their local schools, or not being educated at all, perhaps efforts should be made to ensure that deaf children at least have access to deaf adults in order to become proficient in sign language.

It is unusual to hear what mainstream teachers have to say about deafness and inclusion because many deaf children have no access to education and those who do, tend to be taught separately, either by teachers who have had some specialist training but mostly by teachers without qualification in special education.

It should be pointed out that this does not address the educational needs of children who have less severe hearing impairments and who are able to speak.

This group of children can usually benefit from hearing aids and can learn to lip read as long as efforts are made to communicate clearly.

Although hearing aids can help some children with hearing impairments, their lack of availability, high cost, and need for ongoing maintenance are major barriers to their consistent use, especially in rural schools.

In 2008, at a time I was Director General for Zambia Agency for persons with Disabilities (ZAPD), I meet a young disability activist who came to my office seeking sponsorship to Kitwe Teachers Training College.

I was new in the office when this youth was ushered in the office by my secretary. I greeted him but he was just looking at me then I called my secretary who told me that he was deaf, we arranged for a sign language interpreter, that was need enough to work with a stationed sign language interpreter at the office.

This youth is Frankson Musukwa who is a familiar name on this forum in relations to addressing challenges affecting Zambia Deaf Youth and Women Organisation (ZDYW).

Mr Musukwa shared his idea to form this organisation was born out of his experience growing up as a deaf person, encountering discrimination, violation of individual rights and society's negative attitude in everyday life.

"This experience prompted me and my colleagues to sit down and reflect on how we could help change the perception of deafness.

At college, we continued to receive poor education compared to our hearing colleagues. Lecturers would force us to lip read, forgetting that our mother tongue for the Deaf is Sign Language.

It is against this backdrop that I decided to form ZDYW to champion Deaf rights and equal opportunities in all areas of life - education, health, sports, political, etc - through advocacy and lobbying," he said.

While there are many disability organisations in Zambia, ZDYW is a unique organisation which represents the interests and welfare of the most marginalised group and voice a rights based approach to disability.

ZDYW focuses on advocacy and lobbying, using the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) as a guiding principle.

ZDYW work around the CRPD principles, making it a unique organisation from other DPOs. They speak with courageous, refuse to side with State on wrong side when it comes to negotiations of rights contained in CRPD.

Society perceives ZDYW as individuals who cannot achieve anything. They say to us, "What can you do?" "How will you be able to do something while being Deaf yourself?"

It is attitudes like that which discourage or demean characters of individuals who want to contribute to society.

Since its inception in 2010, ZDYW has underscored countless achievement in an attempt to make a significant difference in lives of Deaf persons and persons with disabilities in particular. Among the big achievement are:

1. That as youth played an influential role to lobby then, president Rupiah Banda's administration to ratify the Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities. This is landmark achievement that has created a solid foundation for disability advocacy.

2. Ministry of Education previously trained Deaf teachers but stopped, forgetting that there are Deaf children in school who needed teachers fluent in both sign language and Deaf culture; it was only after ZDYW engagement with the Ministry that we witnessed landmark recruitment of over 15 Deaf trained teachers in December, 2010. Since then, the Ministry has continued to priorities recruitment of Deaf graduates.

3. Running Computer and Internet basic training comprises 20 computers for Deaf youth and women. The project as proven successful as can be seen by number of Deaf youth frequently visits the cafe.

4. The number of donors and partner willing to support ZDYW activities is also on increase this can be attributing to good accountable and transparency thereby building confidence in donors.

5. Implemented Deaf friendly VCT services on Copperbelt Province that has witnessed increased Deaf persons access to HIV/AIDS services barrier free.

6. Constructing Deaf Village Centre expected to be officially open on December 3. It will be a unique center, first of its kind in history of the province and Zambia in general.

Despite those achievements and like any organisation, ZDYW is faced with some challenges in an effort to achieve its vision.

Some challenges include lack of transport for operation and visitation purpose; shortage of man power to supplementary organisation effort; society negative attitude towards persons with disabilities; for us NGOs ACT pulses a serious threat to independence of organisation ability to speak out against injustice perpetrator by the state.

Lack of political will to implement Disability Act is among serious threats that undermine the smooth operation of the organisation.

ZDYW, however, determined and focused to the realisation of rights contained in United Nations Convention on the rights of the disabled commonly referred to as UNCRPD and Disability Act number 6 of 2012.

Mr Musukwa concluded that Zambia should realise that Deaf persons are equal with other citizens, they have potential and deserve full rights and representation in the governance process.

The author is Regional Disability policy Analyst for SADC and Inclusive Development Advisor for Centre for Disability Development Research, Law and Policy, Johannesburg. Project Office, P.O. BOX 1981 New Castle, 2940 South Africa

Tell: +27343127894 Fax: +27343127894 Mobile: +27788839153



Deaf pupils to be taught in sign language

Times LIVE-
Shaun Smillie and Katharine Child | 19 8月, 2014 00:01

The change - which will allow a deaf pupil to choose sign language as a first language - was approved by Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga this month. File photo Image by: SYDNEY SESHIBEDI

Sign language has been recognised as a home language at school - but now the race is on to have it available for next year's intake.

The change - which will allow a deaf pupil to choose sign language as a first language - was approved by Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga this month.

It will be rolled out first at schools for the deaf, department spokesman Elijah Mhlanga said.

"Later it will be expanded to ordinary schools," he said. "It is anticipated that universities will train teachers to teach sign language in ordinary schools."

He said the focus of the training will be to maintain signing uniformity and the dialect of South African sign language.

Getting the curriculum up and running will be difficult, said Cara Loening, director of Sign Language Education and Development. She and other deaf advocates have been fighting for this for years.

"When it comes to teaching a language, it is preferable to use the first language of users," Loening said. "Unfortunately, most deaf adults can't use sign language, because we came out of this rotten system."

Teachers are having to be trained to teach in sign language. "It is one thing to be able to use [sign language], but another to be able to teach it," she said.

Unemployment among South Africa's deaf is high, in part because few have matriculated.

She says teaching material is another important factor, and a n audit is being done to see what is available.



Gambia Deaf Scorpions Solicit Support From President Jammeh


By Lamin Darboe Members of the Gambia Deaf Scorpions are soliciting support from the President of the Republic of the Gambia to participate in the upcoming first-ever Africa Deaf Cup of Nations scheduled to take place between 4 and 25 October 2014 in Accra, Ghana.

According to Lamin M. Ceesay, president Gambia Deaf Sports Association (GDSA), many African countries have already confirmed their participation in the first Africa Cup of Nations for the Deaf but The Gambia who as well wants to participate in the competition is faced by financial constraints and are finding it difficult to prepare for and play in the championship.

In an e-mail sent to Pointsports, the GDSA began by taking the opportunity to commend the President and through him the Government and people of The Gambia.

Mr Ceesay went further to personally thank His Excellency for recognizing the services of the The Gambia Association of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (GADHOH), and as well bestowing upon them the honourable insignia of a Member of the Order of The Republic of The Gambia.

"Your Excellency, it may interest you to know that our Association National Football Team was invited to participate and play in the forthcoming first-ever Africa National Football Cup for the Deaf on October 2014," it went on, adding: "The event will be hosted by Deaf Sports Federation of Ghana and in agreement with the General Secretariat of Confederation of Africa Deaf Sports, CADS."

"The matches with selected countries will help to promote unity, cooperation and regional integration, giving credence to your Pan- Africanism and support of the African Union," it further said.

Such was the great success of their various pervious international friendly soccer matches, in The Gambia, Senegal and Sierra Leone, for the purpose of continuity and peaceful co-existence, it also said.

"The National Deaf Scorpions FC is most confident of bringing glory to the Nation, as well as raising our Beloved Nation's Flag at this first- ever event in Accra, Ghana," it stated.

"The entire membership of your national deaf community strongly believes that it could be only you and your support that would enable us to participate and play in this crucial first-ever event," it stated.

"Your Excellency, you have given much largesse to sport, in order that they may often take another giant stride to providing moral boosting and unique motivation towards their development," it observed.

"It is for this reason, your Excellency, that we ask for you to accord us the honour of helping us to meet our budget and of personally handing over to us the National flag at the time of travel for the first-ever Africa Deaf Football Cup of Nations," it added.



Only 8,000 deaf children are in school out of 200,000

Kenya Broadcasting Corporation
no comment admin August 21, 2014

The Government has allocated Shs.430million grants to cater children attending Special Needs Education in the 2014/15 financial year, cabinet Secretary for Education, Science and Technology, Prof. Jacob Kaimenyi has said.

Some Shs.230 million will go to learners with visual, hearing and physical impairments in public primary while Shs.200million will be spent on those in public secondary schools, Prof. Kaimenyi noted.

He was speaking during the opening ceremony of the conference on deaf education at the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) on Wednesday.

The conference drew primary and secondary teachers of school for the deaf, members of the board of management of the schools and parents.

Prof. Kaimenyi said the government was committed to providing education to the children having visual, hearing and physical impairments, and urged parents who had children having such disabilities to let them access education like any other children.

The National Chairman of the Kenya Society for Deaf Children (KSDC), Mr. Francis Ng’ang’a thanked the Government for the investment it was making in both primary and secondary educational institutions for the deaf.

He, however, said that of the estimated 200,000 deaf children, only 8, 000 were in school.

“worse still, those in school largely score below average in National examinations, even performing poorer than the visually impaired or the physically handicapped counterparts in the same examinations,” Mr. Ng’ ang’a noted.

Mr. Ng’ang’a noted that the poor performance placed deaf children at a disadvantage in accessing opportunities that persons with disabilities had under the Constitution.

He said KSDC in collaboration with the Ministry of education, had convened the conference to address the underperformance of deaf children in examinations, and ensure that they too, had quality education like other children.

Education secretary said in response that the Government was taking care of the interests of hearing impaired children by giving them additional capitation funds to buy assistive devices to ease their learning and studies in school.

The Government has established 60 primary schools for the deaf while it has also established 19 Secondary Schools to cater for the hearing impaired transiting to secondary education.

Meanwhile Operation Eardrop, a Non-Governmental Organisation based in Netherlands, has donated two machines, to the Kenya Society for Deaf Children, to assist in assessing the level of hearing loss of children.

The machines called audiometer, costing Shs1million has been given to St. Mary’s Primary School, Nyang’oma in Bondo District and Embu Assessment Centre.

The institutions will assess and then recommend for placement or rehabilitation of children with hearing impairments depending on the levels of severity of the impairments.

Present during the occasion included the Acting Education Secretary, Mrs. Leah Rotich, and the Acting Director for Quality Assurance and Standards, Mr. Mohammed Mwinyipembe.



13-year-old climbs Mt Kenya to raise Sh5 million for disabled

The Star-


Ron Mwangi, 13 of Christian Faith Academy in Nyeri town at Mt Kenya last week where he was among the 16 volunteers who climbed the mountain in order to help disabled children in Nyeri.

Part of the Metropolitan Smile Dispatch team which climbed up to Lenana last week in order to raise funds for the support of disabled children.

last week in order to raise funds for the support of disabled children.

A 13-year old boy from Nyeri county has conquered Mt Kenya in a bid to raise funds for children with disabilities. Ron Mwangi, a pupil at Christian Faith Academy in Nyeri town, was the first to arrive at Lenana peak, 4,985 metres above sea level.

He was among 16 volunteers from the Metropolitan Smile Dispatch team, who climbed the mountain for four days in order to raise Sh5 million for disabled children being cared for by Metropolitan Children’s Home. “I felt like I was on top of the world when I finally made it to the top. Finally, my mission was achieved,” said Mwangi.

“Despite the snow, ice, bad terrain and bad weather, I finally made it to the top and returned freezing. My parents were very surprised that I made it.” The group returned last Thursday. Metropolitan Smile Dispatch, set up seven years ago in Kamakwa, endeavours to change the lives of children with disabilities.

“Raising a child is quite a task, but raising a child with disability is an enormous task. These children require regular doctor’s consultation and therapy (physical and occupational),” said Jason Allan, the team’s patron.

- See more at: http://www.the-star.co.ke/news/article-186100/13-year-old-climbs-mt-kenya-raise-sh5-million-disabled#sthash.pjwFRKr2.dpuf



Persons with disability demand accountability


Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) at a Social Public Expenditure and Financial Accountability launch in Ga West Municipality, called on the assembly to involve them in the design of public buildings for accessibility sake.

“Most of the public buildings in the assembly are not ‘disability friendly’, making it virtually impossible to carry our concerns to officers, particularly those whose offices are located on storey buildings,” says Mr Paul Dogbey, a physically challenged person.

However, assembly officials say a Functional Organisational Assessment Tool conducted by the District Development Fund had queried the municipality on the issue prompting it to redesign old public structures and ensure that the new ones are made accessible to PWDs.

Mr Samuel Lawer, Planning Officer of the Assembly, said that the assembly building was constructed before the passage of the PWDs Act (Act 715, 2006).

He said the assembly noticing the defect engaged an architect to redesign all old public structures including schools to make them generally accessible to people, irrespective of their conditions.

Mrs Sarah Naa Deda Agbey, Project Manager of Social Public Expenditure and Financial Accountability (SPEFA), The Netherlands Development Organisation, urged the assembly to put people first in their quest to develop the municipality.

“Put people first in whatever you do, serve the people and solve their problems to improve their living conditions so that they will be happy and you too will be happy,” she said.

She asked the citizens to engage assembly officials at all times for appropriate formulation and implementation of policies inuring to the improvement in the quality of lives.

Mr Kojo Anane, Programme Officer of People’s Dialogue on Human Settlements, an NGO (People's Dialogue) said: “Poverty can hardly be reduced in Ghana particularly in the long run unless deliberate efforts are made to strengthen social accountability at all levels of development.”

He said duty-bearers have the core responsibility of administering development and delivering public goods and services to better the lot of citizens.

He advised the people not to shirk their role in demanding accountably from assembly officials since it is a right enshrined in Ghanaian laws.

The SPEFA project is the third component of the Local Government Capacity Support Project with the involvement of Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, Ministry of Finance, and Local Government Service Secretariat.

People’s Dialogue, a community-based NGO established in 2003, is part of the implementation agencies executing the project in 46 metropolitan and municipal assemblies across the country in three years.

This is the third SPEFA launch carried out by the People’s Dialogue after out-dooring similar programme in the Ga South and Ashaiman municipalities.



Will the NDP II take stock of disability issues and needs?

New Vision
Publish Date: Aug 28, 2014
By David Nangosi

The Government of Uganda (GOU) has adopted a series of National Development Programs with a vision of transforming the economy from a peasant to a modern and prosperous country within 30 years.

This vision has been implemented through 5 year National Development Plan (NDP) I 2010/11-2014/15 (NDP I), and the process of developing NDPII is underway.

Since 2010, Uganda has been implementing the NDP I under the theme Growth, Employment and Social-Economic Transformation for Prosperity.

The GOU under the leadership of the National Planning Authority (NPA) is now developing NDP II whose theme is “Strengthening Uganda’s competitiveness for wealth creation, Inclusive Growth and Employment”.

The NDP II priority areas include; Agriculture, Tourism, Infrastructure and Human Capital Development.

These sectors have a great multiplier effect that aimed at propelling Uganda to middle income country in the next 5 years.

The question therefore is - Will this address poverty levels among PWDs in Uganda?Poor people are more likely to become disabled and disabled people are more likely to become poor.

In a multitude of studies, the World Bank indicates that 15 to 20 percent of the poorest individuals in developing countries comprise of People with Disabilities (PWDs).

Judith Heumann, the World’s Bank’s first advisor for international disability rights indicated that of the 650 million people living with disabilities today, eighty percent live in developing countries.

The problem of poverty in Uganda is rampant but acute among PWDs and their families.

Most PWDs are poverty stricken in rural areas where economic opportunities are limited with many hardly affording decent shelter, clothing and medical care.

While not all PWDs are poor, in low income countries, PWDs are over represented among the poorest.

They are neglected, discriminated against and excluded from the mainstream development initiatives.

They find it hard to access health, education, housing and livelihood opportunities.

This results in isolation, greater poverty and even premature death.

Sekandi Deus a coordinator of cerebral palsy project at the National Union of Disabled Persons of Uganda (NUDIPU) in an interview notes that “poverty isolates and hides PWDs from others in society.

The costs of medical treatment, physical rehabilitation and purchase of assistive devices are expensive to the local PWDs and hence contributing to the poverty cycle”.

Uganda being a predominantly agricultural economy, the livelihood of PWDs is largely dependent on agriculture practiced by caregivers.

Few PWDs with moderate disability participate in agriculture and petty trade.

A few PWDs in urban centers earn a living through begging on the streets or they are involved in petty trade like shoe repair and shoe shining, tailoring, beading, knitting, carpentry and joinery, inter-alia.

The agricultural sector being the source of income is susceptible to weather, climatic changes and fluctuations in produce prices.

Hence income from this source is irregular and unpredictable.

It’s a government policy to include PWDs and other marginalized groups of people in mainstream development programs such as Poverty Eradication Plan (PEAP).

This policy however is on paper than in practice as PWDs continue to be excluded from the mainstream development processes.

Is the government too pre-occupied with general mainstream challenges to dedicate resources to implement the policy?

Poverty among PWDs is attributed to the disability unfriendly development programs at national and district levels, high illiteracy rates, limited employment opportunities in the formal sector for the educated PWDs, lack of opportunities and access to productive assets like land, livestock, loan services, improved seeds, improved networks, high dependence burden, limited access to information regarding economic opportunities, passivity and lack of assertiveness among PWDs and lack of capital to invest in income generating ventures.

Sekandi emphasizes that; “poverty comes as a result of low self-esteem and lack of knowledge of the available opportunities.

He says that PWDs have a lot of potential within them and can as well be successful if they believe in themselves that they can initiate something that can benefit them and the society at large and should avoid depending on others.

They can be wealthy creators and job creators”.

But why are PWDs ignorant of their rights? Dr. Wilson W. Muwanguzi in a book entitled; ‘If Africa is rich, why is Africa Poor?’ - asserts that “anything that makes one ignorant of their rights is nothing but poverty”.

The poorest are typically marginalized from society and have little representation or voice in public and political debates making it even harder to escape poverty.

The poorer you are, the more rights are robbed off from you and this is so common to PWDs.

Research by the United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID) indicates that 10,000 individuals with disabilities die each day as a result of extreme poverty.

This shows that the connection between disability and poverty is so problematic and worse more so in developing countries like Uganda.

Poverty causes disabilities and can further lead to secondary disabilities for those individuals who are already disabled as a result of poor living conditions, health endangering employment, malnutrition, poor access to health care and education opportunities.

The connection between disability and poverty can be broken.

One of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) is the eradication of poverty and hunger, a goal that cannot be achieved without taking into consideration a group of people that is so disproportionately represented among the world’s people.

The focus on poverty reduction strategies is now a unique change to rethink and rewrite the agenda for PWDs in Uganda.

For PWDs to benefit from the several mainstream development programs and projects in Uganda, It is critical that their issues are clearly articulated and mainstreamed in the NDP II priority areas.

The writer is a lawyer and a disability rights activist



The Ability Act Of Persons With Disability


Disability can befall anyone at anytime. No individual is above what nature can decide to put in his or her way. Anybody is vulnerable to become disabled.

Ghana Federation of the Disabled, International Disability Day, Tamale, Ghana March through the main streets of Tamale to the Police Park Theme of the day "Rights of Persons with Disabilities: Action on Development - The Challenge Memenato IbrahimHuman societies will always need to deal with the challenges that confront it through many ways. The enactments of laws and absolute adherence to those laws are one of the ways of ensuring that human societies serve justice to every citizen.

In 2006, a bill was passed into law to become the Disability Act, Act 715 (2006). This Act purported to reduce if not eliminate total discrimination towards persons with one form of disability or correct the erroneous perception that able bodied men and women have about disabled bodied men and women and children inclusive.

There are various aspects of our system that is still discriminative towards persons with disability. It ranges from transportation, education, poverty, infrastructural, employment, healthcare, and provision of recreational facilities and the construction of places of worship.

In the transport sector for example, we disable disabled persons without blinking an eye. Our vehicles that run ‘trotro’ for example disable the person with disability. Is it not possible for us to have a policy that ensures that our vehicles that run as public transport are disability friendly? The Metro Mass Transit Bus that moves across the length and breadth of this nation equally is guilty in this respect.

Has it ever occurred to anyone how the deaf and dumb receive medical attention in our health facilities? I mean in the pharmacy shops, clinics, hospitals, and polyclinics. Do we have our health workers having any knowledge in sign language? Do we assume that all citizens of Ghana can hear and talk? These are the ways the system disables the person with disability.

What about the road signs for the blind? Do we have walk ways by our roads where the visually impaired can walk without any hindrance? When a visually impaired person comes to a traffic light, are the ways that alert the him or her to stop, get ready and go?
There is the Disability Common Fund which I believe is to assist persons with disability to overcome their economic challenges and to empower them to become persons with ability in any appropriate shape or form; how then has it been used to change the lives of persons with disability?
I once spoke to a man who is disabled and he found it offensive when churches who organise crusades advertise that the lame, blind, deaf and dumb should be brought for healing.

He says, it rather makes disabled people a centre of unnecessary attention. It is true that a lot of people who were born disabled or got disabled through one misfortunate situation or the other would like to be like their friends who are not disabled in any way.

The best that can be done for any disabled person is to empower that individual to overcome poverty, illiteracy and ignorance of his or her fundamental human rights- this in itself is healing.

There are a few schools that are assisting persons with disability through education and the acquisition of skills. One of the ways any person with disability can be made an able bodied person is to equip that individual with adequate skills to ensure that he or she is indispensable in the development of his or her community.

Persons with disability cannot play their roles in the development of this nation if all we do is to pay lip service to how the nation can empower them. Consequently we kill their morale by making them objects of pity. Sad? The idea that persons with disability are supposed to be pitied has resulted in the situation where the persons with disability believe that they can only make ends meet when they beg on our streets. This is what has caused many persons with disability to accept that they can only live a fulfilled life by begging on the streets.

The Disability Common Fund should be used to create skills and training centres where persons with disability can be assembled and taught an entrepreneurial skill. This skill and training centre can be one of the ways that they can be taken off the streets and discouraged from begging.

This suggestion in my opinion is one way of involving persons with disability in the development and total independence of our society.

Disability Act 715 (2006) should not just be a law that makes persons with disability feel that they are thought of; it should set up real structures that promote their wellbeing, which taps their talents, and skills. It should establish structures that will give persons with disability confidence to rub shoulders with all and give them independence.

Writer’s email: kw.ameblege@hotmail.com/www.gudzetsekomla.blogspot.com



Malawi disability body mad with airports on services, to take legal action

The Maravi Post

BLANTYRE (MaraviPost)--The Lilongwe Handling Company (LIHACO) has purchased two stair climbers for Persons with Disability, a week after Malawi National Assembly deputy speaker Clement Chiwaya was held at ransom in an aeroplane.

Chiwaya was held at ransom after service providers, who usually help Persons with Disabilities alight from an airplane at the airport refused to assist him in protest for allowances.

The aid unit for Persons with Disabilities at Kamuzu International Airport is in bad shape making it difficult for them to alight by themselves.

The Federation Disability Organisations in Malawi (Fedoma) faulted the country's Civil Aviation Department, Fire Brigade, LHACO and Malawi Airlines for contributing to Chiwaya's embarrassment.

Two similar ordeals involving Kudakwashe Dube the Chief Executive Officer of Africa Disability Alliance and Mussa Chiwaula of Southern African Federation OF Disability Organisations were also reported the same week.

"This is an embarrassment to the country and one wonder what parliamentarians thought about this," said Fedoma executive director Action Amos.

According to him, Fedoma's litigation department will soon start pursuing cases of violations on access by a number of service providers including government because persons with disabilities have been victims for a long time.

"The Minister of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare and the President could also have been equally embarrassed to hear that the Deputy Speaker is held at ransom because there is a broken aid unit.

"This is a lesson to all authorities who are sleeping on their jobs that as FEDOMA we will take them to task especially those that offer public service to ensure issues of accessibility to those with challenges including visually and hearing impaired persons are addressed.

He advised authorities not wait for presidential decree to "sought this mess before the law its course".

"What if the President was a Person with a Disability what would have happened?" asked Action.

The Fedoma's concern comes at a time when Malawi is preparing to host Afrinead, a Disability Research Conference in November.

"Over 400 delegates will fly into the country and many will need assistance in one way or the other," he added.

Meanwhile, LIHACO has assured Fedoma that the two stair climbers it has bought from Germany will arrive in the country mid this month.



New Katiba 'to incorporate disabled people's rights'

Daily News-
Published on Tuesday, 02 September 2014 02:20
Written by DAILY NEWS Reporter in Dodoma

THE new constitution will incorporate the rights of people living with disabilities, Constituent Assembly (CA) Chairperson, Mr Samuel Sitta, has said.
Mr Sitta made the remarks on Monday as he met leaders of the Confederation of People with Disabilities (SHIVYAWATA).

The leaders visited Mr Sitta largely to present their observation and push for incorporation of their rights in the new document.
Mr Sitta maintained that meeting such groups did not mean that he was collecting fresh views, but rather it was chiefly meant to improve the draft that would lead to people-centred constitution.
"Anything that has been written by human beings cannot go without errors; in this draft, we have discovered some weaknesses. There are some views which were not incorporated, we are only trying to integrate such missing views, he noted.

The Executive Director of the Inclusive Development Promoters and Consultants, Mr Kaganzi Rutachwamagyo, pointed out that they suggested that people with disabilities' affairs should be included in the union matters list.

He explained that other points they wanted to insist is to push for establishment of a special organ that would oversee and ensure that their rights are safeguarded.

He insisted that there were a number of international protocols suggesting establishment of such organs which were vital in ensuring that their rights were similarly respected.

Mr Rutachwamagyo also noted that the Katiba should also clearly highlight on representation of the people with disability in the National Assembly, House of Representatives and in full councils.

"For instance, we propose that article 113 should read that five per cent of all members of Parliament in the National Assembly should comprise disabled people," he noted.

Speaking on behalf of people with disabilities, Mr Amon Mpanjo, who is a CA member from '201 category' said that it would be rational if the Chairman applied his powers to ensure that their rights are respected.
"We are requesting you to call upon the CA to pay utmost consideration to our views and incorporate them in the new constitution, so that we could also live a happy life," he stated.

The SHIVYAWATA Vice-Chairperson, Ms Amina Mollel, pointed out that there should be gender balance in the government posts and in the Parliament.

"Women should make 50 per cent of all members of Parliament, in that women percentage, people with disability should also be included and have five per cent," she affirmed.



My deaf daughter would have wasted away in Nigeria

Nigerian Tribune-
02.Sep.2014 DISQUS_COMMENTS Kehinde Oyetimi and Rita Okonoboh

Niyi Osundare is a distinguished Professor of Literature at the University of New Orleans. He is equally a celebrated poet, essayist and humanist. In this interview by KEHINDE OYETIMI and RITA OKONOBOH, he speaks on his frustrations with Nigeria, the 2015 general election, among others. Excerpts:

You live and work outside Nigeria but you keep a tab on Nigeria. You come home when you get the opportunity. Why do you do this repeatedly?

Let me begin with the obvious: Nigeria is my country and my home. I didn’t leave this country to live elsewhere until I was 50 years of age in 1997. My family and I had to go for certain reasons. The United States of America came to our rescue at a time we were desperate about the educational and health situation of our daughter. Today that young lady is taking full advantage of the generous facilities provided by the US for people with her kind of challenge. If we had kept her in Nigeria, she would have wasted away. This country cannot take care of the able-bodied, let alone those with special needs.

In the past 17 years, I have been shuttling between the United States and here. The University of New Orleans extended its hand of assistance when I needed it most by providing me a job and a conducive professional (and personal) environment. When I arrived at the university in August 1997, my colleagues made me feel at home; some of them even contributed furniture for our small apartment near the university. And ever since, they’ve shown their appreciation of my humble contributions to the growth and development of the university. Thus, about two years ago I was selected as Distinguished Professor, about the highest academic honour the university bestows.

Needless to say, the US provides a much more conducive environment for scholarship and creative work. The things you need are there: well stocked libraries and book stores; state-of-the-art laboratories, ubiquitous internet service, and uninterrupted power supply. The terrible irony about our situation in Africa is that most of the time, if you want to do authentic research about African literature, you have to go abroad. Yes, the University of Wisconsin, for example, has more research resources/archives on Nigerian writers than any of our universities in Nigeria. The developed countries of the world know that the reason they keep leading the world is because they respect ideas: the generation of ideas, the sustenance of ideas, the interrogation of ideas, and the consolidation of ideas. They know that investment in education opens the door to the future. Our society here doesn’t have such facilities or such an attitude.

Ours is a society in a process of regressive illiteracy. It is amazing. This country used to be much more literate. It used to have universities that devoted a large chunk of money to research. When I started teaching at the University of Ibadan in the 1970’s, we had research funds and these funds were allocated every year. There were also conference funds. All these things existed until the 1980’s when General Babangida introduced his Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP), the Nigerian spirit was sapped and our educational system began to nosedive.

So, the US has virtually all the things you need to function as a scholar/writer. However, Nigeria provides that sense of place, that sense of home that may be difficult to feel or achieve abroad. To put it frankly, America swallows you up as an immigrant the way you are not likely to be swallowed up in a country like Nigeria. As I’ve often said, it’s good to have a place in the world where you do not have to spell your name all the time, a place where as a poet, you begin a song/proverb and your audience completes it with you. That aspect of human touch is important, that spontaneous sense of community. On another plane, I also feel more comfortable being part of the building squad rather than a lucky inheritor of a mansion already built and furnished by others.

Unfortunately, Nigeria is a country whose praise you cannot sing without sounding like a masochist. I am angry with Nigeria because we are not where we should be. I am angry with our rulers because they have not aspired to be leaders. They have no vision; they are callous; they are corrupt. They do not respect the citizens of this country. I am also becoming increasingly angry at the ruled, at the people of this country, for our endless, almost mule-like toleration of injustice, of oppression. But I also know that anger which is too overwhelming could become disabling. I belong to the school of those who profess regenerative anger, the kind that is never at peace with injustice and other assaults on human dignity. It is not just anger for its own sake. I don’t just shout at darkness. I try to light a candle. There is a lot of work to be done in our country.
Many academics, like you, left Nigeria in anger following the misrule in the country. In specific terms what can the government do to get it right?

Point of correction: I didn’t leave Nigeria as a result of anger. I left for family reasons, as I’ve said above. In a manner of speaking, I have left without leaving.

Now to your question: what can be done? Indeed, a very large question to which I can only give a short answer here: BRING BACK OUR COUNTRY by giving education the priority it deserves. Fund it adequately and consistently from elementary to tertiary level. Improve the quality of teachers through teacher-training and staff development programmes. Give the teacher back her/his sense of pride and self-worth by paying them the kind of wages that will give them a decent life. Make the learning environment human-friendly by refurbishing dilapidated school buildings and putting learning tools in place. Put an end to the proliferation of universities which are mere ‘Miracle Centres’ for the spread of illiteracy. Re-order our value system. Make education matter once again by ensuring high standards and providing employment for products of the school system. Eliminate MEDIOCRITY. Bring back the old virtues of thoroughness and assiduity. Improve the work ethic: demolish the ise-kekere-owo-nlanla (little-work-big-money) mentality. Ensure the provision of reliable power supply, water, healthcare, decent housing, safe transportation….. And, above all, adequate security.

In case you consider all this a pipe dream, let me tell you that there was a time Nigeria enjoyed something very, very close to these ideals. That was in the 1940’s and 1950’s and 1960’s and early 1970’s - those golden years that produced the kind of education that made it possible for Chinua Achebe and Wole Soyinka to write Things Fall Apart and A Dance of the Forests, respectively, in their mid-twenties! Above all - and most important - overhaul Nigeria’s socio-economic and political systems. Kill corruption which concentrates the nation’s resources in the wrong hands for the wrong purpose. Insist on the right kind of leaders - cultivated women and men deep in learning and humanism, with adequate control over the appetites, people who know the true value of education as a sine qua non in national development. Leaders who combine the best of Nkrumah, Awolowo, and Mandela whose vision and action are a blessing to humanity.

With the state of terrorism and insecurity in the country, don’t you think development would be difficult in other areas of Nigeria’s national life?

What happens when you live in a country whose government cannot protect you? Our government here is telling us ‘terrorism is everywhere in the world; so don’t blame me.’ No. We know terrorism is a global scourge but different governments have different ways of responding to it. Who could have believed that anybody in the world could get Osama Bin Laden? America got him. It hasn’t stopped the spate of terrorism against America but you know that as a terrorist today if you do anything to an American citizen there would be a consequence. Again, I say, Nigerians are orphans. We have nobody to protect us. This is what has always happened. Those who rule us are only interested in their own personal welfare: money, power and how to abuse them. We, the Nigerian people, are the last on their priority list. They don’t even remember us during elections. All they are interested in are the ballot boxes and how to rig the polls. They are not interested in the voters; they are only interested in the votes. We live in a country where rulers have not the tiniest bit of respect for the ruled.

The Chibok episode has really exposed the weak underbelly of the Nigerian government. It has made us so ridiculous. I love this country but I decry its fatal flaws, its murderous weaknesses. I am embarrassed as a citizen of this country that the Chibok kidnap caught us so sheepishly, so unawares. My heart bleeds every day as I remember what is happening to those over 200 students who were taken away almost 120 days ago. I have never stopped feeling as if I were their parents... For the first two weeks, the Nigerian government was in a state of denial, and all kinds of conspiracy theories were being bandied all over the place. But foreign governments were not deceived. The people of the world were not deceived. Their BRING BACK OUR GIRLS Harsh-Tag campaign stung the Nigerian government into action. America got interested. So did the UK. And France. Even China.

Let’s be humble enough to learn from our adversaries. What has emerged in the last two years or so is that Boko Haram is more organised, more focused, more committed than the Nigerian army. There are certain virtues in Boko Haram that the larger Nigerian government lacks: Loyalty. Accountability. Answerability. There is a fatal affliction of the Nigerian nation whose symptoms have not bedevilled Boko Haram yet: corruption. Corruption is at the root of the Boko Haram problem. Boko Haram understands this country. It knows that many of those who control the fate of Nigeria are as buyable as merchandise on the open market. I suspect this weakness is no secret to the foreign governments either. I don’t know how willing some of the foreign experts are to share their intelligence findings with their Nigerian counterparts. The Nigerian security system is extremely porous, unreliable, and untrustable. It is a victim of innumerable vulnerabilities.

The national confab has come to a close. Do you think that its recommendations should be subject to a referendum or an overhauling of the existing constitution?

The confab boasted some of our best brains. Let us give them their due. Many of them went there to serve their country and contribute their own quota - as the saying goes. Many of the participants are there for patriotic reasons. But what I really have problems with is the intent of the government.

As far as I’m concerned, the highlights were the debate about the nature of Nigerian federalism, the issue of state police, revenue derivation and revenue sharing, and the matter of part-time parliamentary representation. (Those clamouring for the creation of additional states at this time are merely trying to muddy up the water, as many of the existing states are on financial life support!)

Should the mode of our parliamentary representation be full time or part time? That is crucial. At the moment, our lawmakers whether they like it or not constitute the most irresponsible drain on the resources of this country. They know it. We don’t even know how many millions they take home in a month, or what they do with their excessive Constituent Allowances. All I know is that the money we have in this country is finite. If care is not taken, Nigeria is going to get bankrupt from the excesses at Asokoro. What laws are the law makers making? How have they impacted the lives of the Nigerian people? The profligacy at Asokoro is replicated down the legislative pecking order involving the state assemblies and the local governments

Those members of the confab that recommended part time legislation did this country a lot of good. I have always stressed the need to de-monetise our political system. At the moment, majority of our politicians are in politics for the money not because they want to serve. If things go on at the present rate, maintenance of our law makers will bankrupt Nigeria. It is in the interest of both parties that something be done about the present prodigal practice. Too much money chasing too little substance.. . . . . . I think it will be a little untidy to go through a referendum because we are dealing with so many issues at the same time. Referenda are best when they deal with one or two issues. We are still a proto-literate society. Even many of our legislators are not literate enough to handle sophisticated bills. I’m not sure a referendum would work. Doing something about the constitution is a credible alternative. Right now we don’t have a constitution made by the Nigerian people. It was the military that concocted the present constitution and they made sure that they injected the constitution with their own interest. The Nigerian constitution as we have it now is not workable. It cannot produce a just and egalitarian society that we have been talking about. A new constitution is necessary and it is not going to be a constitution that will be framed and constructed in Abuja and foisted upon all of us. It will have to go from the bottom up. Not from the top down .. . . . So I cast my lot with the constitution overhaul option.

You live in the United States of America where gay relations have been largely legalised. But the US is threatening to sanction Nigeria following the latter’s enactment of anti-gay laws. As an African, how do you confront this in such climes?

Not just as an African but as a human being. People come to this world without having had the power to choose who to be, or who to be not; what kind of preference to embrace, and which to shun. I have a deaf daughter. Did she choose to be born deaf? No. I know people who have no sense of smell. Did they choose to come that way? No. We have to admit that there are so many people who do not have control over their biology. It is not just the liberal way of looking at the issue; it is also the logical way.

In some countries in Africa, to be gay is to carry a permanent , ubiquitous death sentence. It doesn’t have to be so. A just and humanitarian society must be prepared to take care of the interests of ALL its people and protect all their human rights. Let’s stop all this noise about people’s sexual preference, for it reeks of intolerance and hypocrisy. Many of the people who shout about the evil of being gay are the treasury -looters and election riggers - those who have mortgaged the future of this country . What did the Nigerian government think it was going to gain by its anti-gay legislation? What difference has this law made in the lives of Nigerian people? The anti-gay hullaballoo is nothing short of a self-inflicted wound that has made Nigeria more notorious. Is it really the prime preoccupation of our legislators to legislate the DNA; to nose around for what fellow citizens do behind closed doors? The gay person is not the enemy of the Nigerian people. The real enemies are the people who steal our votes and plunder our treasury - those who have turned Nigeria into the proverbial ‘big-for-nothing’ country.



Nigeria: Workshop in Nigeria Addresses Theology and Disability


"God calls everyone, including persons with disabilities, to the fullness of life in Christ," states a communique issued at a consultative workshop on "Theology and Disability" organized in Nigeria by churches and ecumenical organizations. It emphasizes, "God is the sovereign and loving Creator of all people including persons with disabilities."

The communique stressed that challenges faced by persons with disabilities do not reduce the image of God in them. At the same time, the restoration of their abilities does not improve the image of God. They are in God's true image as they are, reads the document.

The consultative workshop which issued the communique was organized by the Ecumenical Disability Advocates Network of the World Council of Churches and the Christian Council of Nigeria. The event was held 11 to 15 August at the Institute of Churches and Society in Ibadan, Oyo Sate.

The workshop brought together representatives from the CCN-affiliated theological colleges, African church leaders, government officials and some non-governmental organizations. In discussions at the event participants encouraged theologians, theological institutions as well as secular institutions to engage in research work to broaden the scope of disability studies.

In the communique they stressed that "churches and theological institutions should involve qualified people with disability in the leadership of bodies and groups".

Churches were encouraged to be at the forefront of advocacy for the re-structuring of public buildings and facilities in order to meet the needs of persons with disabilities.



Rwanda: Nyereka Ibiganzabyawe, Home to Disabled Women Knitting Their Way to Prosperity

By Jean Pierre Bucyensenge

AT FIRST SIGHT, Jeannette Uwihoreye portrays the image of a perfect, young, energetic youth.

Fairly tall, light-skinned and jolly, Uwihoreye's physical beauty is striking.

She exudes such confidence that one may think she is a blessed young lady who is fully enjoying her youthful age.

And when she walks in front of people, cat-walking to showcase some of her leather and textile collections, you can't stop applauding and appreciating such a courageous, innovative and highly-skilled young woman.

But that's until you learn of her misfortune. Then the appreciation you had for this 29-year-old girl more than doubles.

When I met Uwihoreye, she was busy operating a modern knitting machine to produce sweaters that she sells to earn a living. As I started chatting with her, I realised she wasn't getting what I was saying.

That's when I learnt that she can neither speak nor hear. She is among those commonly referred to as deaf-and-dumb.

But that has not prevented her from dreaming big and working hard to achieve better living conditions despite the many challenges that her situation poses.

Solace within others:

Uwihoreye is among the few lucky individuals among those with similar impairment.

She has benefitted from a special skills development programme that equipped her with skills in tailoring.

Originally from Muhanga District, Uwihoreye underwent the training at a Huye-based school for the deaf and dumb.

After graduating over a year ago, life again became hard as she failed to secure a job and lacked enough capital to start her own business.

But Uwihoreye did not give up. She joined hands with other former school colleagues-all deaf-and-dumb-to start a cooperative which they named Nyereka Ibiganza Byawe, (or literary show me your palms).

"Coming together has made it possible for us to share skills and experiences," Uwihoreye says through an interpreter, a young man familiar with the sign language.

"Together we are struggling to beat stereotypes which come with our disabilities while at the same time proving that with our skills we can lead normal lives."

"We are learning from each other and together we get inspired to beat the several challenges that lie in our way," she adds, with a smile.

Created in July 2013, the cooperative has a total of 18 members, all young individuals, who are working hard to transform their lives despite the speaking and hearing impairment.

Though they are yet to register significant achievements, the cooperative has so far managed to put some products on the market.

These include knitted sweaters, scarves, tablecloths and a set of home ornaments. They also include custom-made school uniforms, insignia, metal boxes and stoves, among others.

Their collection also includes leather clothes that have won them accolades for their originality and fineness.

"By coming together, we wanted to merge our skills and work jointly for better living conditions," explains Felix Karangwa, the coop representative.

"With time and perseverance, our lives are improving."


Karangwa, who also speaks through an interpreter, says though they are just beginning, they hope to register success.

But they are facing serious challenges which they say are affecting them.

Lacking the ability to speak and hear comes with a lot of challenges and stereotype that once not addressed can keep them at bay, they argue.

"These people have skills but the society still looks down upon them which is wrong," says Ernest Munyantore, the coop deputy representative who also doubles as the group's interpreter.

"Several of them have been denied work because they can't speak or hear. We have skilled masons, craftsmen, tailors, among others, but unfortunately their abilities are still widely disregarded," he bemoans.

"Society needs to understand that these people can be productive like others and recognise the fact that they have special needs as a result of their health situation."

Lack of access to specialised education and information on available opportunities due to communication barriers also remain key challenges to the young individuals.

"The society needs to keep supporting us if we are to be successful in our endeavours," Karangwa notes.



Africa: World Water Week - Focus on Disability: Inclusive Latrines Aren't All About Tech

By Sue Coe

World Water Week - the annual focal point for global water issues - runs in Stockholm, Sweden this week (31 August - 5 September). At the meeting a research consortium involving the international NGO WaterAid is set to present findings of its research into making water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) technology accessible for disabled people in Uganda and Zambia. [1]

The logic of making WASH disability-inclusive in communities extends beyond the benefits to disabled people themselves. Key targets set by the UN to stop open defecation by 2025 won't be met if even one person in a community continues to practise it. [2]

Existing water and latrine facilities are often inaccessible, which means that disabled people have no choice other than to openly defecate. Inappropriate community interest in their sanitary habits forces them into secret and dangerous practices.

In recent years WaterAid and Loughborough University's Water Engineering and Development Centre (WEDC) have created simple, low-cost and low-tech designs for latrines. These designs have features including handrails, raised seats and wider entrances to cubicles so that wheelchairs can get through them. [3,4]

WaterAid's present research from Uganda and Zambia, conducted with WEDC and the University College London's Leonard Cheshire Disability Centre, is giving focused, in-depth insight on what good, accessible WASH can and should look like in poorer communities. For example, researchers found that even simple measures to make toilets accessible are rarely in place. These include making approach paths to toilets level, marked and clear of hazards, and having low-angled entrance ramps with a handrail.

But installing accessible facilities is only part of the pathway towards full inclusion of disabled people in hygienic WASH practices. WaterAid has also been undertaking accessibility audits: practical discussions between the people installing the facilities and the users - male and female, non-disabled and disabled people with different impairments. [5] Researchers found these were fantastic first steps towards establishing a fuller range of necessary measures for disability inclusion. These measures include sharing information so everyone can access it, raising awareness about the challenges that different people face, and addressing inappropriate negative attitudes towards disabled people so they can participate more meaningfully in establishing WASH facilities that the whole community can use.

Researchers found that in Zambia the accessibility audit was a powerful tool. It enabled implementers to observe first-hand how difficult it is for disabled people to access standard WASH facilities, leading them to call for immediate change. And it gave vulnerable people an opportunity not only to express the challenges they face, but also to show the valuable insights they could contribute.

Disabled users' input and feedback on specific designs is crucial to ensure their suitability - and sustainability.

There are a growing number of practical resources available for disability-inclusive WASH - it has proven itself a leading sector considering technologies suitable for use by disabled people. Key resource websites are provided by WaterAid, WEDC and the online resource centre for disability and inclusion Ask Source. [6,7] One especially useful summary is an inclusive WASH checklist. [8]

The cost of making water points, hand washing facilities and latrines accessible can be minimal. But the cost of not doing so is infinitely more both in terms of community health if disabled people are excluded. It is simply a logical choice for all.

Sue Coe has worked in international development for 25 years across Africa, Asia, Europe and the Middle East. Now a development and disability inclusion consultant, she previously worked for World Vision, Practical Action (formerly ITDG), VSO and Action on Hearing Loss (formerly RNID).

Sue can be contacted at suecoe2603@gmail.com



Marginalised hearing impaired want MTC’s Aweh

New Era
September 4, 2014

WINDHOEK- Members of the Namibian National Association of the Deaf (NNAD) say they want access to MTC’s prepaid Aweh Aweh special, tailor-made for their impairment.

NNAD says it urgently needs interpreters, and productive access to the Namibian Brodcasting Corporation’s (NBC) television programmes. Other demands include having the Namibian Constitution in Braille for the virsually impaired.

“We want access to Braille and alternative communication and all other accessible means and modes and formats of communication,” NNAD executive chairperson, Paul Linekela Nanyeni on Wednesday told Minister of Information and Communication Technology, Joel Kaapanda when they met him.

Nanyeni further asked the information minister to make sign language available to the hearing impaired through special budget provisions.
“Regardless of our abilities or disabilities, we deserve to be informed,
” Nanyeni told Kaapanda.

He said NNAD seeks sign language interpreters to be available at all different Government functions such as August 26 when the nation commemorates Heroes’ Day and all other national events of importance.

“We want your good ministry to ensure there is sufficient funds to enable sign language interpreters to be available at different places so that the deaf public can receive information whenever its deemed necessary,” Nanyeni said.

He said there were many discussions in Parliament that affect both the hearing and virsually impaired Namibians which they were unable to access.

Nanyeni said NNAD also needs to access information through enhanced technologies.
“We have two mobile providers, MTC and Telecom Namibia. These telecommunication giants have so many special packages, voice and data packages. We would like you to explore possible ways they can address the needs of deaf persons.

“Currently there is only one way Short Message Text Services (SMS) the deaf can use with their handsets from both carriers. We want them to introduce more tailor made packages for the hearing impaired.”
Nanyeni said the association wants the hearing impaired to be able to receive text messages from voice calls and enhanced handsets.

On national documents, he said these should be ranslated into sign language as this would help the deaf to understand these documents.

Nanyeni requested the minister of information to identify these important documents that need translation into sign language.
“Such projects not only are necessary means of giving information to the deaf but also help the deaf to work and earn some funds to uplift their lives,” he said.

After listening to their grivances, Kaapanda described the meeting as an eye opener. He promised the group to do everything in his power before he leaves office to ensure the implementation of their requests.
He said information must be inclusive of all citizens and government is obliged not to exclude anyone. He promised to give a directive to the Print Media and Information Directorate to specifically deal with their demands.

Kaapanda proposed a follow-up meeting where other role players such as New Era, NBC, MTC and other stakeholders will be present to answer to their requests.

“The process requires many stakeholders to come to the table. Your demand for the Constitution to be translated is just perfect. We are enjoying freedom and safety so the Constitution must be made accessible to all,” Kaapanda explained.

Early this year NNAD met with Minister of Education, Dr David Namwandi, where they expressed concerns about the way Government is treating its members regarding access to education. Among the many concerns raised with Namwandi were that its members could only go up to Grade 10 because there were no facilities to help them acquire further education. NNAD says it has 27 000 members.

Nanyeni, told New Era there are only two schools that cater solely for the deaf in the country, and four other units for the deaf. The two schools were Eluwa Special School in Ongwediva and the National Institute for Special Education in Windhoek which only offer classes up to Grade 10.

“We do not have secondary schools for deaf learners. This is very discouraging as they cannot see the possibility of succeeding through the mainstream education system,” complained Nanyeni.

NNAD members also met Prime Minister Dr Hage Geingob regarding their concerns.



Let’s involve the deaf and hearing impaired in communication- James Sambian

Vibe Ghana-
September 5, 2014 | Filed under: Opinions | Posted by: VibeGhana
By Alhaji Alhasan Abdulai

Communication (through telephone, radio, television, or inter personal means) is important for social and economic development of any country. However owing to the hearing impairment of a sizeable number of about 25 million people in Ghana, many of the deaf and hearing impaired persons are unable to communicate properly making them feel troubled, slighted and marginalized.
Many people concerned about this situation are not happy expressing the wish that the government and people of Ghana must do something about it. One such person is Mr. James M. Sambian Director of Ghana Association of the Deaf who has written a letter to government and policy makers on the seriousness of the situation.
Headed “Letter to Government & Policy makers” Mr. Sambian said the following

Dear Policy maker:

I am writing this letter as a concerned Ghanaian who is interested in promoting communication between deaf people and their hearing counterparts. I am especially concerned because there is a huge communication gap which hinders the development of persons with hearing impairment. But before I go into the main purpose of this letter, let me first give a brief overview of the deaf situation in Ghana to enable you appreciate the problem.

Deafness is a disorder affecting the ability to hear. It includes people with very limited hearing who cannot rely upon it for communication. Deafness can emanate from heredity and caused by disease, accident/trauma and age-related hearing loss. Deaf people communicate using sign language, lip reading, written communication or a combination of these methods depending on their abilities and preferences. It is important to understand that deafness is categorized as pre-lingual or post lingual. Pre-lingual refers to deafness before speech and language is acquired. Post-lingual is after the acquisition of speech and language. This explains why some deaf persons are able to speak although they cannot hear.
The 2010 Housing and population census has indicated that the population of persons with hearing and speech disability in Ghana today is 211,712 out of a total national population of 24,658,823. This means that approximately 1% of the Ghanaian population has hearing loss and this creates a huge communication barrier. As you know, communication is the major challenge facing persons with hearing impairment. Compounding this challenge is the lack of proficient sign language interpreters who form the essential plank between the deaf and hearing. Sign Language Interpreters play a vital role in helping deaf people gain information, education, healthcare, entertainment, employment (formal and informal) and many other services that hearing people take for granted.

And now the purpose of this letter: A long term solution to this communication barrier between the deaf and hearing is for the policy makers and duty bearers to consider sign language to be a part of the curriculum in all public basic schools. This way, by the time the young ones complete basic and secondary education and go into employment or their chosen professions, they would be able to communication with everyone including persons with hearing impairment thereby subduing the services of sign language interpreters to advanced and complicated situations.

It is compelling for me and many other Ghanaians to urge Policymakers and government officials, chiefs and opinion leaders, civil society organizations and politicians to join hands with this crusade to advance this agenda for the total development and inclusion of persons with hearing impairment in Ghana.

May your efforts, combined with other committed Ghanaians, produce a rewarding and satisfying result for the benefit of deaf people in accessing healthcare and other public services.

Yours faithfully,

James M. Sambian
Director - Ghana National Association of the Deaf
Tel: 0200 568364
Email: jjsambian@yahoo.co.uk/ you may call Mr. Sambian for more information on deafness in Ghana

0244 370345/ 0264370345/0208844791 abdulai.alhasan@gmail.com/



Namibia: Deaf Plead With Kaapanda


THE Namibian National Association of the Deaf (NNAD) requested the Minister of Information and Communication Technology, Joel Kaapanda, to have the Constitution translated into sign language.

A group from NNAD met Kaapanda at his office in Windhoek on Wednesday, where they discussed some of the challenges the deaf face in Namibia.

Apart from the Constitution, the group also requested that other important national documents be translated as well.

Speaking on behalf of the group, NNAD executive chairperson Paul Linekela Nanyeni said they need interpretations of Heroes' Day celebrations proceedings as well as other important national days.

"We just stare at the TV screen when the nation celebrates important days and try to make sense out of pictures, thus creating a lot of misconceptions. If we get an interpreter, it would be easy to access the information," Nanyeni said.

He also requested access to information through enhanced technology, deaf-friendly devices or packages and sign language interpreters.

"We appeal to the ministry to make sign language available to hearing- impaired Namibians through budget provisions," Nanyeni said.

He said the NNAD wants the ministry to ensure that there are sufficient funds to enable sign language interpreters to be available at different places so that the deaf can receive information whenever it is deemed necessary.

"They should also be placed in parliament. There are so many discussions there which affect us as well; hence we deserve to be informed."

Nanyeni requested the ministry to engage Telecom Namibia and MTC so that they explore ways the hearing-impaired can benefit from their services.

"We want them to introduce more tailor-made packages for the deaf to be able to enjoy communications with friends, families and colleagues," he said.

Nanyeni said relay services, where deaf persons can be able to receive a text message from a voice call is among the many possible ways to make life easier for them.

"Enhanced handsets for instant messaging that enable the flow of conversations at minimal fees, will go a long way to make life easier for hearing-impaired Namibians," he said.

Nanyeni concluded that if their requests were approved, it will improve their lives through technological advancement.

Kaapanda said the requests are well in line with government's efforts to educate the whole nation and not exclude any group of the population.

He said his office will see how it can move forward after the discussions, saying the meeting was an eye-opener for the ministry.

Kaapanda said the requests will need stakeholders such as Telecom, MTC, NBC and New Era newspaper as they all are involved if the demands are to be met.

The minister promised to revert back to the group within two weeks, promising to address their issues before he leaves office at the end of the year.



Can we allow the deaf to drive legally in Ghana?

By Alhaji Alhassan Abdulai

The Driver Vehicle Licensing Authority DVLA formerly known as the Vehicle Examination and Licensing Division VELD has been performing creditably since its establishment by act of parliament in 1999. Indeed the DVLA’s role has led to the production of many good drivers who are ‘safety conscious’ on our roads. Indeed as a result of good performance of DVLA it ranks high in Africa in terms of promotion of good driving and road safety.

However an emerging challenge confronting DVLA and the nation is the burning desire of the deaf and hearing impaired people in Ghana to take part in driving on our roads. Ordinarily the blind and hearing impaired and deaf people are required to stay clear from driving. But experiences elsewhere in the world including Uganda, Kenya and South Africa have shown that the deaf and hearing impaired people are capable of driving. Indeed these categories of people are found to be better drivers.

Many people and organizations in Ghana high and low are pleading with the government and the DVLA to embark on the process of allowing the deaf and hearing impaired people to drive vehicles in Ghana. DVLA can learn from countries in Europe, America and Africa on how nations on these continents managed to allow the deaf to drive on their roads. What some people are saying in support of driving by the deaf is that it will be fair and non discriminatory for good drivers who are deaf to be given driving licenses to be able to drive on our roads. Some of the deaf drivers were good drivers for many years holding valid driver’s license before they lost their sense of hearing. One of such organizations fighting in support of deaf drivers is the Ghana Association of the Deaf with Mr. James Mokinyabi Sambian as its Executive Director. The association is pleading with DVLA to turn its attention to the plight of hearing impaired drivers in Ghana. According to the association, over the past years concerned individuals and organizations have been fighting for deaf people who can drive to be issued with driving licenses ? which is a right according to our constitution and the Disability Law of Ghana passed in 2006. Yet the authorities are yet to heed to this call. The association went on to say that According to the World Health Organization estimates, 278 million people worldwide have moderate to profound hearing loss in both ears.

In Ghana, according to the 2010 Housing and Population Census, 234,000 people have hearing and speech disability. The 1992 Constitution, the Disability Rights Law, and various international conventions on the rights of persons with disability, make provisions for the inclusion of persons with disability in all facets of national life - as far as practicable.

Although Deaf people have a right to own driving licenses if they pass a driving test, we do recognize that this right is yet to be accorded them.

The association said it humbly requests governments kind consideration to put in place, the necessary systems and processes that would enable deaf people in Ghana own driving licenses as pertains in other African countries such as Uganda, South Africa and Kenya to mention only three.

According to the World Federation of the Deaf (WFD), there are no known reports that deaf drivers are a threat to other road users in the countries where deaf people are allowed to obtain a driving license, or that they are involved in more traffic accidents or injuries than the general population. The survey goes further to say that deaf drivers are better than hearing ones because they respect road safety regulations and use rear-mirrors more effectively on the roads. Also, because their hearing is impaired, their other senses are naturally trained and sharp to compensate for the loss of hearing.

Deafness or disability for that matter should not hinder the quality of life.

The right to drive and the privilege given by DVLA is not a trivial one. Without a driving permit, Deaf people are restricted in their ability to work and to access medical, educational, career, community, information, leisure and other services. The Traffic and Safety Act 1998 of Uganda prohibits denial of a driving permit on the basis of disability. If already not so, Ghana may want to consider the provisions herein.

Many people wonder how a Deaf person can drive without being able to hear audible cues such as a police siren, an ambulance needing the right of way, or even a honking horn. There are several ways around this problem. However the most common is that most deaf people simply pay attention to visual cues, such as the flashing lights of an emergency vehicle, frequent use of peripheral vision, frequent use of rear view mirrors or cues from other drivers on the road. For example, noticing other drivers move to the side of the road is a strong indicator that an emergency vehicle is approaching.

Hearing people might also wonder how a Deaf person would communicate with a police officer if pulled over. Deaf drivers could be required to carry ID cards to let police officers know that they are Deaf and to suggest ways to communicate, such as by writing in a notebook which is always available in the car. Another system that is used worldwide is to have a sticker “Deaf Driver” on the car to alert other road users and the police.

Driving is mainly a visual activity. There is research to suggest that Deaf people who drive have better peripheral vision than hearing people ? surely an advantage for Deaf people when driving.

Driving gives one a sense of independence, pride, self-esteem, and belongingness, and rejection thereof tantamount to violation of civil rights and a case of prejudice and discrimination of the dominant society.

The laws of Ghana seek to promote inclusion at all levels and inclusion is based on the rights of the individual (disabled or non- disabled) to full participation in national life. On this basis, the Ghana National Association of the Deaf (GNAD) is making a passionate appeal to the Board of DVLA, to consider, as a matter of urgency, the need to establish systems and processes that would enable Deaf people in Ghana to own driving licenses, within the shortest possible time.




Sunday, 7 September 2014

A 55-YEAR-OLD disabled Mangwe man allegedly raped a two-year-old toddler and ordered her four-year-old brother to stand guard at the door while he committed the act as compensation for not having a wife. The man, Jabulani Tshuma, told the police upon his arrest that he was justified in raping the minor as he did not have a wife.

Plumtree magistrate Mr Gideon Ruvetsa ordered Tshuma to be examined by two doctors to determine his mental stability. Tshuma has one leg and walks with the aid of a stick. On the day he committed the offence, Tshuma took advantage of the absence of the baby's grandmother to rape her.

Prosecuting, Ms Jane Phiri told how Tshuma raped the child on 31 August.

"The juvenile's mother left her two children aged two and four years at their grandmother's homestead as she was going to work. Their grandmother later left the house to fetch some water and assigned Tshuma to look after the two children," said Ms Phiri.

The court heard that the accused person took advantage of their grandmother’s absence and called the minor into the kitchen and ordered her brother to follow them. Tshuma then raped her and ordered her brother to stand guard at the door and alert him if he saw anyone approaching.

He did this twice and ordered the two minors not to reveal the issue to anyone. He also ordered the four-year-old boy to bathe his younger sister. The matter was later discovered by the complainant's mother who saw her daughter crying while holding her private parts on the same day, " said Ms Phiri. She said the woman questioned her daughter and her brother later revealed what had transpired. She confronted Tshuma who admitted to having committed the offence.

Tshuma told her that he was having difficulties living without a woman and revealed that he committed the offence to quench his sexual desires.
  The matter was reported to the police, resulting in his immediate arrest. Tshuma was remanded in custody to 16 September. sunday news







Deaf plead with Kaapanda

By Tuyeimo Haidula

FINGERS TALK ... A small group from the Namibian National Association of the Deaf met the Minister of Information and Communication Technology Joel Kaapanda to discuss problems facing hearing-impaired people in Namibia. Picture: NNAD executive chairperson Paul Linekela Nanyeni engages Kaapanda.Photograph by Henry Van Rooi

THE Namibian National Association of the Deaf (NNAD) requested the Minister of Information and Communication Technology, Joel Kaapanda, to have the Constitution translated into sign language.

A group from NNAD met Kaapanda at his office in Windhoek on Wednesday, where they discussed some of the challenges the deaf face in Namibia.

Apart from the Constitution, the group also requested that other important national documents be translated as well.

Speaking on behalf of the group, NNAD executive chairperson Paul Linekela Nanyeni said they need interpretations of Heroes’ Day celebrations proceedings as well as other important national days.

“We just stare at the TV screen when the nation celebrates important days and try to make sense out of pictures, thus creating a lot of misconceptions. If we get an interpreter, it would be easy to access the information,” Nanyeni said.

He also requested access to information through enhanced technology, deaf-friendly devices or packages and sign language interpreters.

“We appeal to the ministry to make sign language available to hearing-impaired Namibians through budget provisions,” Nanyeni said.

He said the NNAD wants the ministry to ensure that there are sufficient funds to enable sign language interpreters to be available at different places so that the deaf can receive information whenever it is deemed necessary.

“They should also be placed in parliament. There are so many discussions there which affect us as well; hence we deserve to be informed.”

Nanyeni requested the ministry to engage Telecom Namibia and MTC so that they explore ways the hearing-impaired can benefit from their services.

“We want them to introduce more tailor-made packages for the deaf to be able to enjoy communications with friends, families and colleagues,” he said.

Nanyeni said relay services, where deaf persons can be able to receive a text message from a voice call is among the many possible ways to make life easier for them.

“Enhanced handsets for instant messaging that enable the flow of conversations at minimal fees, will go a long way to make life easier for hearing-impaired Namibians,” he said.

Nanyeni concluded that if their requests were approved, it will improve their lives through technological advancement.

Kaapanda said the requests are well in line with government’s efforts to educate the whole nation and not exclude any group of the population.

He said his office will see how it can move forward after the discussions, saying the meeting was an eye-opener for the ministry.

Kaapanda said the requests will need stakeholders such as Telecom, MTC, NBC and New Era newspaper as they all are involved if the demands are to be met.

The minister promised to revert back to the group within two weeks, promising to address their issues before he leaves office at the end of the year.
- See more at: http://www.namibian.com.na/indexx.php?id=17333&page_type=story_detail#sthash.K9JETxpF.dpuf



Can Deaf People Drive?-Some Surprising Facts


If Deaf people can’t hear, how can they drive? Plus, find out which countries allow Deaf people to drive and which countries still deny Deaf people this fundamental right.

An Important Right

The right to drive is not a trivial one-without it, Deaf people are be restricted in their ability to work and to access medical, community, and other services. The Deaf community has had to fight for this important right. In the United States in the 1920s, when states were adopting their first motor vehicle laws, several states enacted laws denying Deaf people the right to obtain drivers licenses. By educating hearing people that Deaf drivers posed no threat to public safety, the National Association of the Deaf and its state committees were able to win the repeal of these discriminatory laws.

While Deaf people in all 50 U.S. states have the right to drive, they still face discrimination in some aspects of driving. For example, until 2006, UPS refused to hire deaf drivers because of safety concerns, which a federal court eventually ruled to be unfounded. In addition, some Deaf people have reported being denied the ability to rent or test drive a car. Others find that if they do become involved in an accident, it can be harder to prove they weren’t at fault since many hearing people make the assumption that Deaf people can’t drive safely.

Source: Josh Beasley, CC BY 2.0, via Flicker

Deaf Drivers and Safety

Many people wonder how a Deaf person can drive without being able to hear audible cues such as a police siren, an ambulance needing the right of way, or even a honking horn. There are several was around this problem. First, some Deaf people use electronic devices in their cars that alert them, using a lighted panel, to sounds coming from outside the vehicle. Others simply pay attention to visual cues, such as the flashing lights of an emergency vehicle or cues from other drivers on the road. For instance, noticing other drivers move to the side of the road is a strong indicator that an emergency vehicle is approaching.

Hearing people might also wonder how a Deaf person would communicate with a police officer if pulled over. In the United States, some Deaf drivers carry state-issued cards to let police officers know that they are Deaf and to suggest ways to communicate, such as by writing in a notebook. Many Deaf people find the cards unnecessary, especially if they’re able to lip read well.

“But, ultimately, isn’t it just unsafe if a driver can’t hear what’s happening outside the vehicle?” Actually, studies show that Deaf drivers are no more likely to be involved in car accidents than hearing drivers. This makes sense since driving is mainly a visual activity. Plus, there’s even some research to suggest that Deaf adults have better peripheral vision than hearing people, surely an advantage when driving.

Deaf people in Japan, who won the right to drive in 2008, must display this butterfly sticker on the back of their vehicles.

Source: Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons

Fighting for the Right to Drive Worldwide

In a 2009 report, the World Federation of the Deaf (WFD) found that out of 93 national Deaf organizations surveyed, 31 indicated that Deaf people are not allowed to obtain a driver’s license in their country. A number of the 93 countries surveyed did not respond to the questionnaire?not to mention the fact that there are nearly 200 countries in the world in total? making it unclear exactly how many countries deny Deaf people the right to drive. An earlier WFD report, citing 26 respondents who indicated that Deaf people are not allowed to drive in their country, is often misinterpreted to mean that “all but 26 countries in the world” allow Deaf people to drive. It is important to note that this is not correct, and the actual number may be substantially higher.

The tables below indicate where Deaf people have the right to obtain driver’s licenses worldwide. There are many countries for which information is not available.. While much progress has been made, particularly in recent years, there is still much work to be done to ensure this basic right for Deaf people around the world.

Countries Allowing Deaf People to Obtain a Driver’s License are;




Africa: Eastern and Southern Botswana, Kenya, Lesotho, Madagascar, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zimbabwe World Federation of the Deaf, Regional Report No 5, pg 68 (2008); DOOR International (Kenya, 2010)
Africa: Western and Central Burkina Faso, Cameroon, DR Congo, C?te d’Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Nigeria, Sierra Leone World Federation of the Deaf, Regional Report No 6, pg 59 (2008)
Arab Region Algeria, Bahrain, Iraq, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia World Federation of the Deaf, Regional Report No 7, pg 55 (2008)
Asia and Pacific Australia, Bhutan, Cambodia, Indonesia, India, Japan, Malaysia, Nepal (2012), New Zealand, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Sri Lanka, Thailand World Federation of the Deaf, Regional Report No 2, pg 61 (2008); Legal India (2011); ITN news broadcast (Sri Lanka, 2012); The Himalayan Times (Nepal, 2012)
Eastern Europe and Middle Asia Republic of Belarus, Bulgaria, Republic of Kazakhstan, Republic of Moldova, Russian Federation, Republic of Uzbekistan World Federation of the Deaf, Regional Report No 1, pg 49 (2008)
European Union All countries World Federation of the Deaf, “WFD Statement on Deaf People’s Right to Drive a Car or Other Vehicles.” (2009)
North America, Central America, and the Caribbean Canada, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Panama, Suriname, USA World Federation of the Deaf, Regional Report No 4, pg 55 (2008); alldeaf.com participant (Ecuador, 2010); The Gleaner (Jamaica, 2010)
South America Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Peru, Venezuela World Federation of the Deaf, Regional Report No 3, pg 49 (2008)

Countries Not Allowing Deaf People to Obtain a Driver’s License




Africa: Eastern and Southern Burundi, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Sudan, Zambia* Word Federation for the Deaf, Regional Report No 5, pg 68 (2008); Keycorrespondents.org (Zambia, 2012)
Africa: Western and Central Benin, Cape Verde, Chad, Gabon, Niger, Senegal, Togo World Federation of the Deaf, Regional Report No 6, pg 59 (2008)
Arab Region Egypt, Mauritania, Morocco, United Arab Emirates, Yemen World Federation of the Deaf, Regional Report No 7, pg 55 (2008)
Asia and Pacific Laos World Federation of the Deaf, Regional Report No 2, pg 61 (2008)
Eastern Europe and Middle Asia Republic of Armenia, Ukraine World Federation of the Deaf, Regional Report No 1, pg 49 (2008)
Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean Haiti, Nicaragua World Federation of the Deaf, Regional Report No 4, pg 55 (2008)
South America Bolivia, Ecuador, Paraguay World Federation of the Deaf, Regional Report No 3, pg 49 (2008

Researched by
Alhaji Alhasan Abdulai
ALHAJI A ABDULAI abdulai.alhasan@gmail.com /eanfoworld@yahoo.com 233 20 8844791 /



Mining may contribute to disability levels

Independent Online-
September 9 2014 at 04:26pm By Adam Wakefield Comment on this story
iol news pic Pali Lehohla Household Survey

Statistician General Pali Lehohla File picture: GCIS

Pretoria - The mining industry could play a role in the high levels of disability in the Free State, Northern Cape, North West, and Eastern Cape, statistician general Pali Lehohla said on Tuesday.

“In fact it is these provinces, Free State, Northern Cape, and North West that dominate in terms of disability,” Lehohla said, presenting Statistics SA's 'Profile of persons with disabilities in South Africa report' in Pretoria.

“Of course, here is the Eastern Cape. You could in that regard think about the mining industry in South Africa.”

Lehohla referred to these provinces as “sending regions” as they contributed significant numbers of people to the mining labour force.

“We will not know what is happening in Lesotho and Mozambique in terms of disability, but there is a storyline being built around disability in relation to the mining industry and sending areas,” he said.

Earlier, Lehohla said 7.5 percent of South Africa's population, representing 2.9 million people, reported having a disability. The findings were based on data from the 2011 census.

The Free State and Northern Cape had the highest proportion of disabled people, at 11.1 percent and 11 percent respectively.

This was followed by the North West (10 percent), Eastern Cape (9.6 percent), KwaZulu-Natal (8.4 percent), Mpumalanga (seven percent), and Limpopo (6.9 percent).

The Western Cape (5.4 percent) and Gauteng (5.3 percent) had the lowest proportion of disabled people.

Across population groups, 7.8 percent of blacks, 6.2 percent coloured and Indian/Asian people, 6.5 percent whites, and 5.6 percent of those classified as “other” reported having a disability.

Nationally, 9.3 percent of people reported having a mild seeing disability and 1.7 percent a severe seeing disability.

According to the report, 2.9 percent of South Africans reported having a mild hearing problem and 0.7 percent a severe hearing problem.

A total of 1.1 percent of people reported having a mild communication disability, while 0.4 percent said they had severe communication problems.



Limuru police rescue mentally disabled man locked a year in a house

The Star-


FREE: Tigoni police boss Edward Mutemi (R) holds Stephen Ngugi, who was handcuffed to keep him from running away, at Bibirioni yesterday.

Police have rescued a 34-year-old mentally disabled man, who was locked in his house by family members for close to a year.

He was rescued at Ngarariga village, Bibirioni ward, Limuru, on Monday.

His mother Elizabeth Wanjiku said: “It is because I’m old and Stephen gets destructive sometimes.That is why I tied him in the house. At first I used a rope but he destroyed it and ran away.”

Stephen Ngugi was taken to Mathari Mental Hospital by the police.

His father Peter Ngugi said Stephen was first taken to Mathari hospital in 2006, where he was treated and discharged.

His health started deteriorating in 2012, Ngugi said.

He was taken to the hospital, but was not admitted.

His family was asked to keep him at home and on medication.

“Those times we took him to the hospital, we had to look for strong men to hold him down. At one time, he destroyed the car seats of a good samaritan who offered to give us a lift,” Ngugi said.

He said he fights back when one tries to give him his medication.

“Sometimes he runs away from home,” he said.

Limuru police boss Moses Owiti said such people should be taken to mental facilities.

- See more at: http://www.the-star.co.ke/news/article-189344/limuru-police-rescue-mentally-disabled-man-locked-year-house#sthash.ElDRyc4Y.dpuf



Miss Deaf Africa contest postponed

The Swazi Observer
10/09/2014 03:00:00By Mandisa Mamba

imagePOSTPONED:Miss Deaf Africa Pageant Director and CEO Nokuthula Mbatha.

The Miss Deaf Africa organisers have had a rethink and postponed the contest to October 10.

Initially, the contest which will be hosted by the kingdom for the first time was meant to be held on September 7.

However, Miss Deaf Africa Pageant Director and CEO Nokuthula Mbatha announced that it has since been postponed to October 10.

According to Mbatha, the decision for postponement made absolute sense.

“We had no choice but to postpone the contest given that we wanted to wait until the crowning of the next Miss Deaf Swaziland winner to allow her to compete at the Africa contest,” she added.

She also stated that the recent busy weekends also contributed to this decision.

“Another reason we have allowed for the shifting of the dates is due to the fact that there was so much going on in the past weeks, like Umhlanga and the rally, so we just wanted to allow things to calm down,” she went on to say.
This off-course comes as an advantage for the Miss Deaf Africa organising team as it gives them ample time in the planning of the event.


She also confirmed that DTV Mozambique will be coming for the contest this year.

“Last year DTV Mozambique was not able to attend, so it is exciting for me to have them join us this year,” she further said.

Princess Sikhanyiso is the Miss Deaf Africa patron and the Imbali Foundation will co-host the upcoming event which is expected to attract over 20 contestants from the continent.




Eyewitness News-

She indicated Pistorius may be convicted of culpable homicide but will only hand down her verdict tomorrow.

Cellphone image showing paralympian Oscar Pistorius leaving the High Court in Pretoria on Thursday, 11 September 2014. Picture: Sapa.

PRETORIA - Judge Thokozile Masipa says Oscar Pistorius’s disability is no excuse for his actions when he shot and killed Reeva Steenkamp as there are many vulnerable groups in the country.

Masipa began handing down judgment today in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria in one of the most highly-anticipated court rulings in the country's legal history.

Judge Thokozile Masipa reads her judgment in the murder trial of Oscar Pistorius in Pretoria on 11 September 2014. Picture: Pool.
Only the second black woman to rise to the bench in South Africa, Masipa read out her verdict calmly and seemingly impervious to the global interest in a case that has drawn comparisons to the 1995 murder trial of American football star OJ Simpson.

The judge postponed proceedings until 9:30 tomorrow morning.
Pistorius, the double amputee who became one of the biggest names in athletics, shot dead his model and law graduate girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine's Day last year.

A picture of the late Reeva Steenkamp is seen on the accreditation card of a family member attending the murder trial of star sprinter Oscar Pistorius at the High Court in Pretoria on 30 June 2014. Picture: Pool.
Since the news first broke on the morning of 14 February last year, the case has gripped millions around the world who saw Pistorius as the embodiment of triumph over adversity, a man whose lower legs were amputated as a baby but who reached the semi-finals of the 400 metres at the London Olympics in 2012.

An emotional Oscar Pistorius in the dock as judgment is handed down in his murder trial at the High Court in Pretoria on Thursday, 11 September 2014. Picture: Pool.
Masipa indicated that Pistorius may be convicted of culpable homicide but will only hand down her verdict tomorrow.

She said the court had found that Pistorius acted hastily and with excessive force when he shot and killed Steenkamp.

Pistorius’s legal team spent a large amount of time arguing that the athlete could not be found guilty because he was vulnerable due to his disability.

Masipa said she took this into consideration, but she disagreed.

The judge said many people were subjected to crime in this country and felt vulnerable for a variety of reasons.

She also said Pistorius was a poor and evasive witness who lost composure under cross-examination and even contradicted his legal team's arguments.

At the same time, she said he couldn't have foreseen that opening fire at the bathroom door would have resulted in someone being killed.

Pistorius was ushered away from the court soon after proceedings were adjourned this afternoon.

Paralympian Oscar Pistorius exits the High Court in Pretoria on Thursday, 11 September 2014. Picture: Sapa.
Pistorius was driven to his uncle Arnold’s house in Waterkloof, east of Pretoria, by his bodyguards driving in a white SUV with tinted windows.

The Paralympian was sitting in between two of his bodyguards on the back seat and appeared exhausted after today's proceedings at the High Court in Pretoria.
His uncle had arrived earlier in a white Mercedes-Benz.

Arnold emerged from his home and offered a group of journalists standing outside something to eat and drink.
He offered some juice, water and fruit before driving off.
Arnold Pistorius's domestic worker offers journalists drinks outside his home on 11 September, 2014. Picture: Masego Rahlaga/EWN.


There’s been mixed reaction to today’s proceedings.

Former High Court judge Willem Heath said Masipa has done well to restore confidence in South Africa’s legal system.

But the ANC Women's League’s Jackie Mofokeng disagree.

Members of ANC Women League sing outside the High Court in Pretoria during the Oscar Pistorius murder trial on 11 September 2014. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN.
Outside the court, many questioned Masipa's findings while others simply said they were relieved

At the same time, Masipa’s decision not to convict Pistorius of murder or premeditated murder has triggered shock and anger from locals in Port Elizabeth where Steenkamp grew up.

There appears to be a sombre and reserved mood among friends and acquaintances.

While some locals at the Steenkamp family's pub,The Barking Spider, refused to speak to the media, others didn't hold back after hearing that Pistorius was found not guilty of murder.

The Barking Spider, the Steenkamp family's pub in Port Elizabeth. Picture: Vumani Mkhize/EWN.

A man who knows the Steenkamp family said they have been under huge strain.

“I don’t even want to think about it because it will break the family down so much.”

Many residents said that despite today's judgment, they still believe Pistorius murdered his girlfriend.



UK health experts give hope to over 700 disabled persons

New Vision-
Publish Date: Sep 11, 2014
By Violet Nabatanzi

Doctors help prop a patient at Mulago hospital

Over 700 persons with disabilities (PWDS) are receiving free treatment and orthopedic appliances from UK health experts.

The persons are being treated at Mulago hospital orthopedic workshop.

The equipment includes Soft knee braces, rigid knee braces, crutches, soft spinal braces, resting splits and gaiters.

Others are hard spinal braces, fracture boots, bent knee clippers, and soft collars, prosthetic child shoes, walking frame, wheelchair and hip braces.

The eight member team led by David Gamble is composed of surgeons, physiotherapists and economists and they are to spend two weeks in the Country.

Gamble said the equipment they have so far donated to the clients is worth over $1m.

“This is our third visit in Uganda, last year we received 1000 clients.

We want to help people who have very difficult problems and we feel we have some of the equipment and resources that we can put to use,” he added.

The hospital‘s Orthopedic technician Denis Nsimenta said; clients are coming from Mityana, Arua Mbarara and other parts of the Country.

“ After two weeks we plan to reach out to different hospitals in the country to give them some items to treat clients depending on their need,” Nsimenta said.

One of the beneficiaries, Bob Lubega said at two years he developed polio after a serious sickness adding that he is the only one with Polio.

Lubega 32 years old revealed that for a very longtime he could not move far, because of the heavy crutches he had locally purchased.

But when the doctors came in to offer free orthopedic appliances he was able to get light crutches that have enabled him to move faster.

“At first it was not easy to move far, because the crutches were too heavy but now am able to move very far, after getting lighter crutches I can move fast,” he said.



Persons with disability demand more from assemblies


The Ghana Society of the Physically Disabled (GSPD), has advocated the increase of its share of the district assemblies’ common fund (DACF) to five per cent.

Ghana Federation of the Disabled, International Disability Day, Tamale, Ghana March through the main streets of Tamale to the Police Park Theme of the day "Rights of Persons with Disabilities: Action on Development - The Challenge Memenato IbrahimMr David Aniah, Project Manager of GSPD in charge of the Upper East made the suggestion in an interview with Ghana News Agency in Bolgatanga, during a dissemination forum organised by the STAR-Ghana, a multi-donor pooled organisation and Word FM Project, at the weekend to publicise findings on the disbursement of the DACF.

He said considering the current economic crisis, the two per cent allocation to the society out of the DACF is woefully inadequate and could not help members to be able to undertake any viable business for their upkeep.

Mr Aniah said since 2010 the money had not been increased.

Among the key findings of the findings showed that there was no level of transparency in the disbursement of the funds as well as lack of information on the part of beneficiaries.

The beneficiaries were also paid on tables instead of the banks.

Mr Daniel Syme, Deputy Regional Minister, gave the assurance that the Regional Coordinating Council would play its supervisory and monitoring role efficiently to ensure that the assemblies pay money meant for persons with disabilities (PWDs).

Mr Peter Awane, Managing Director of Word FM explained that among the objectives of the programme was to empower the PWDs and other vulnerable groups to demand for their rights from duty bearers.

Mr Martin Akogti, Vice President of Eagle Leaders, a locally civil society organisation, commissioned to undertake the research asked duty bearers to desist from acts that exacerbate the plight of the vulnerable in the society.




Atosale Gets Disability Friendly Borehole


World Vision Ghana (WVG) has inaugurated a borehole valued at about 9, 000 US dollars for the people of Atosale , one of the deprived communities in the Kassena-Nankana Municipality in the Upper East Region.


Borehole The borehole, which is a disability-friendly facility, brings to 121, the number of boreholes constructed by WVG in communities in the Kassena ?Nankana Municipality.

This is expected to bring relief to the people in Atosale Community, who used to commute for about five kilometres to six kilometres in search of water from streams, which was not even potable and often resulted in the outbreak of water-borne diseases.

The problem also led to many schoolchildren in the area, whose population was about 950 in 2013, attending school late hence missing the first lessons as they had to fetch go and water, first.

The Partnership Leader of the Global Office of World Vision International, in-charge of Field Operations, Mr Dirk Booy, assisted by the Regional Leader in charge of West Africa, Ms Esther Lehmenn, performed the inauguration.

Dr Stanislaus Alu Kandingdi, the Metropolitan Chief Executive, in speech read for him by, Mr. Maxwell Aborigo, Assistant Director of Administration, lauded WVG and WV I, saying, the Assembly was grateful for the intervention, particularly in the area of WASH, which had led to the reduction of cholera in the area.

“We, as the Assembly, are very grateful for partnering with us to maintain hygiene and sanitation in the area,” he said. “Through your sensitization programmes and capacity building, every house has now a latrine, which hitherto was not so and this led to the outbreak of diseases as a result of the open defecation”.

The MCE stressed that most of WVG interventions were in tandem with the objectives of the country’s Millennium Development Goals and gave the assurance that the Assembly would continue to partner effectively to help improve upon the livelihoods of the people, particularly, the vulnerable.

Mr Booy, expressed optimism that with the intervention of World Vision’ s Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) component, particularly, the water facility, it would help empower the women in the area to cater properly for their children to attend school in time and also help curb sanitation-related diseases.

Mr Booy, who said World Vision was committed to the welfare of children, impressed upon the community members to ensure that the facility was properly and routinely maintained to prolong its lifespan.

Ms Lehmenn said one of the best methods of empowering women was the provision of water and income generating activities and stated that she was happy that the women now could have better hygiene.

WVG , in all its operational areas, including the Talensi , Bawku West and Garu-Tempane and Kassena -Nankana District in the Region, had instituted the WASH programmes, which has components such as the provision of water facilities, toilets and urinals to schools as well as empowering the community members to put up their own household latrines, using locally produced materials, and the provision of hand wash facilities in schools.




Namibia: Disability Sport Stars Recognised


Twenty athletes were honoured for their accomplishments this year at the Disability Sport Namibia Annual Recognition Awards Ceremony held in Windhoek on Thursday.

Additionally, 10 Paralympic and Special Olympics coaches, including the late Tertius Beukes, who died in a car crash earlier this week, were also rewarded for their tireless contribution the success of the athletes.

The DSN Awards ceremony staged at Arebusch Lodge was a colourful affair, attended by exuberant athletes, high ranking government officials and special guests.

One such guest, motivational speaker Marks Maponyane from South Africa, praised the athletes for embracing their handicaps and making the most of the opportunities that came their way.

Using several anecdotes from his playing days, the South African football icon said the athletes' hard work had elevated them from ordinary citizens to national heroes who can inspire others.

"Failures always have excuses and an answer to justify their status as losers," Maponyane said.

"Failures always blame others for their situation. They don't want to experience pain. But there really is no gain if there's no pain. To be successful, you need to take risks and be willing to remove yourself from your comfort zone. You cannot sit around and hope for things to happen," he added.

DSN patron Pohamba Shifeta also took the opportunity to lavish praise on the athletes, saying they deserved improved recognition and support from government and the nation for their continued excellence on the international stage.

"I'm very proud of what disability sport has achieved in the past few years," Shifeta told the audience.

"That is why I encourage the Namibian government to support disability sport. We need to maintain this level of success and also to improve on it. There's a need for more coaches and volunteers to help the athletes. So we need more financial assistance for that and also to help with getting specialised equipment for disabled athletes," Shifeta, who also called for an end to stigmatisation and neglect of the handicapped.

The Gala Event was organised by DSN, the National Umbrella sport body responsible for developing sport for people with disabilities in the country, in partnership with NamPower and the Motor Vehicle Accident Fund (MVA).

DSN's primary financier NamPower pledged N$811 500, with the MVA adding N$100 000 towards the body's operations.

The award recipients are as follows:

Paralympic athletes - Ananias Shikongo, Ruben Soroseb, Peter Balhoa, Johannes Nambala, Johanna Benson, Elias Ndimulunde, Ishtile Lahja, Johanna Katjikuru, Chamelle Van Der Westhuizen, Rosa Mandjoro;

Special Olympics athletes; Abraham Alweendo, Linrich Diergaardt, Jurgen Kamure, Irene Mupenda, Ruben Gowaseb, Andile Mhlanga, Melanie Van Wyk, Selma Nelumbu, Andima Simon, Gideon Nasilowski;

Paralympic coaches: Tertius Beukus, Esther Washinana, Belinda Oberholster, Michael Hamukwaya, Zikzee Mutenge, Rodney Van Wyk;

Special Olympics coaches - Tessia Scott, Erikson Ngikufe, Shelikita Andreas, Ankoshi Thomas; Paralympic guide - Even Tjiviju and David Ndeilenga.



Malawi: The Disabled Are Not State Property - Govt

By Blackson Mkupatira

Nsanje - Government shames parents in the country who feel it is its responsibility and that of stakeholders to care of their disabled children when they themselves have the potential and resource to do so.

Deputy Director of Disability in the Ministry of Gender and Disability Felix Sapala says there is a booming tendency of parents leaving their children in the hands of Government and other organizations yet they are fully capable of raising them.

Sapala noted attitude is causing a lot of psychological damage to the disabled as they feel stigmatized.

"Unless otherwise it's the job of parents and close relations to care for their disabled relative as he needs them most. People look only on the economic factor they have no idea how this affect the disabled psychologically.

"There are incidents where parents send one child to an expensive private school yet push the disabled one resource from government, how do you think this will affect the kid?, he would feel unwanted," Sapala said.

The Deputy Director added that currently the government does not have enough resources for every disabled person so parents and other relations should help in providing a better environment for them where they can feel loved.

"Much as the government is trying hard to provide support for people with disabilities, their parents and relative should also try as much as possible to better the disabled's life," he advised.

Sapala also commended the numerous stakeholders in the country for trying to level the playing field for the disabled but advise them to not only wait for a situation to arise but go in the villages where some people fail to access their services to.

He then advised people in the country to take disability as their challenge and help in building communities that are friendly to those with disabilities.

"When we are making new developments, let's not forget our friends with disabilities, we should move in a way they will be comfortable with.

"For example when building new infrastructure nowadays we should include structures that will ease their accessibility," concluded Sapala.



IGP’s Tenure Extension By NDC Has Handicapped Him - Charles Owusu

Peace FM Online-

Government’s decision to extend the tenure of office of Mohammed Ahmed Alhassan as IGP has been described by some as pragmatic and justifiable.

But a member of the Progressive People’s Party, Mr. Charles Owusu has claimed the decision continues to create problems for senior members in the service.

Mr. Charles Owusu claims that due to the contract extension of Mr. Mohammed Ahmed Alhassan, he has been handicapped and refuses to bite whenever government goes wrong. He claims that since the time of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, none of the IGPs has had his stay extended like the NDC administration has done.

In an interview with Peacefmonline.com, Mr. Owusu observed that as a result of the extension, the chain of hierarchy within the Ghana Police Service has also been broken; leading to a rift between deputy IGP, Juana Osei Poku and COP Rose Bio Atinga.

Madam Bio Atinga, according to him, has taken over operations which don’t lie within her remit. According to Mr. Owusu, the deputy IGP currently operates at the Police Intelligence and Professional Standards Bureau (PIPS) instead performing administrative duties.

He therefore charged the Police Council to quickly move in an resolve this particular sensitive issue they have always been sweeping under the carpet.



Ghana: Wa Municipal Assembly Disbursed Disability Fund


The Wa municipal assembly has disbursed a total of GH¢8,082.00 to Persons with Disability (PWD) within the municipality to empower them to undertake economic ventures that would sustain their lives.

That was at a public forum organized by the Municipal Disability Fund Management Committee (MDFMC), in Wa last Thursday.

The cheque of 8,082.00 was to cover about twenty four selected individual beneficiaries and two groups of the Ghana Blind Union (GBU), and the Ghana National Association of the Deaf (GNAD). The money was to help them finance their earmarked group programmes and activities to champion their course in society.

The Municipal Chief Executive (MCE), Hon. Ishahaku Nuhu-putiaha in his address entreated the beneficiaries to try to invest the money in to productive ventures that would help to uplift their standards of living and welfare.

He noted that the disbursement of the fund at the national level delayed sometimes and for that reason beneficiaries must make judicious use of the money since several others had also applied for the fund and would be considered the next time the releases were made available to the assembly.

The chairman of the MDFMC, Mr Saeed Abdul Faruk said the selection of beneficiaries was very transparent since they had used the prescribed guidelines to arrive at the decision as to who should benefit out of the numerous applications they received seeking for support from the fund.

He explained that one major requirement is that the applicant for the fund must of necessity be a disabled person and submit an application detailing what he or she intended to use the money for and based on that the committee would approve it.

He said as part of the MDFMC's responsibilities, they would conduct regular monitoring to ensure that beneficiaries used the money for the purpose for which they were granted the fund.

He indicated that to ensure effective monitoring, beneficiaries must belong to one of the various disability groups in the municipality where they could easily be contacted to find out how they were utilizing the money to achieve the desired results.

He stated that the purpose of the fund was to empower persons with disability economically to get them out of the street begging for alms which sometimes result in the loss of precious lives through accidents.

He said a major challenge to the committee is the lacks of clarity in application letters send to them by the disabled applicants seeking for support from the fund thereby making their work difficult to determine their needs.

The beneficiaries expressed their profound gratitude to the assembly for considering them for the fund and promised to use it in ways that would benefit them and their dependents.

Source: ISD (Stephen Tashie)



Winners not witches: Ghana's disabled athletes strive to beat stigma

By Nicola Goulding and Daisy Carrington, CNN
updated 10:29 AM EDT, Tue September 16, 2014

One of the leading spokesmen for Ghana's physically challenged is Charles Narh Teye, one of a handful of Ghanaian para-athletes who competed in the London 2012 Paralympics. Narh Teye had both his legs amputated when he was one-month old. Today, he is a professional body builder who also owns his own gym. One of the leading spokesmen for Ghana's physically challenged is Charles Narh Teye, one of a handful of Ghanaian para-athletes who competed in the London 2012 Paralympics. Narh Teye had both his legs amputated when he was one-month old. Today, he is a professional body builder who also owns his own gym.

Charles Narh Teye lost both his legs as an infant. Now, he's a Paralympic body builder
Like other disabled athletes in Ghana, he is investing in the future of Paralympic sports
The Rolling Rockets are a Ghanian team of 'football' players with polio
Their coach hopes the sport will achieve Paralympic status

Accra, Ghana (CNN) -- Ghana isn't the easiest place for people with disabilities. They are often viewed with suspicion, deemed unlucky, untrustworthy, or without value.

"Unfortunately, we associate disability with all manner of negative influences: with witchcraft, with the devil, with bad karma," explains Max Vardon, who formerly headed Ghana's National Council on Persons with Disabilities.

"They get relegated to the sidelines. The schooling they should get, the support from their families they should get, they don't, so life is very difficult for them," he adds.

Lately, however, a number of Paralympic athletes are hoping to use sport to change public perceptions.

One of the leading spokesmen for Ghana's physically challenged is Charles Narh Teye, one of a handful of Ghanaian para-athletes who competed in the London 2012 Paralympics.

Narh Teye had both his legs amputated when he was one-month old. Today, he is a professional body builder who also owns his own gym.

Watch this video

"With the gym, I love it when people see me with my disability training able-bodied people," says Narh Teye, who is now training himself for the Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. He uses his earnings to reinvest in Ghana's para-sports, an area he admits is under-financed.

"We do not have a qualified para-powerlifting bench here in Ghana, so we make do with the ones that able-bodied people use. Of course, that reduces our input and output." A new game? Another group looking to bring attention to the cause is The Rolling Rockets, Ghana's skate soccer team made up of polio survivors.

"The sport is appreciated. I would say, in this country, it is admired by so many people," says Albert Frimpong, the team's coach.

They have acquired a livelihood for themselves they did not have before
Max Vardon, National Council on Persons with Disabilities

Skate soccer doesn't yet have Paralympic status, though it has garnered some attention in the last couple of years. In 2012, the story of the Rolling Rockets inspired a Kickstarter campaign for the documentary Rollaball. Earlier this year, the team was featured in a documentary and advertising campaign by Chevrolet.

Frimpong initially formed the team to help get the men off the street.

"The idea was to get them to stop begging, to improve their lives. I was hoping to use soccer as a way to set up business- and income-generating projects for them," he recalls.

Since then, his vision has expanded somewhat.

"One of the dreams is to organize an African Cup of Nations, the first ever in the world here in Ghana," he admits.

"We can get a big FIFA car to bring people here to come and watch, and the world will finally see them exhibiting their talent."

Turning disability into opportunity Double amputee pumps iron

The next generation

The Accra Rehabilitation Centre is currently one of the few institutions working to provide economic opportunities to the country's physically challenged. The center is particularly keen to get their members involved in sports, not only for confidence-building, but for the sponsorship opportunities as well.

"We have so many people with disabilities who have competed on a world stage, and because of that, they are being introduced to heads of state, " says Vardon.

"They have acquired a livelihood for themselves and for their families that they did not have before."

Another novel academy, called Right to Dream, is also hoping to nurture Ghana's future para-sportsmen. Headed by Raphael Botsyo Nkegbe and his protege, Maclean Atsu Dzidienyo -- both internationally recognized wheelchair racers -- the academy aims to educate Ghana's disabled community, and nurture their talent for sport.

"We work with some very disadvantaged kids in Ghana, and they come from environments where they don't actually know what opportunities are out there in the world. So when you bring them here, and tell them if you apply yourself you can achieve amazing things in life, they don't understand," says Nkegbe.

"Those who are competing are the new generation. They are the people taking over the baton."
Read: Polio survivors play football on wheels
Read: South Africa's deadliest sport?
Read: Is this the world's toughest bike race?



Tanzania: Kinondoni Council Eyes Sh800 Million for Disabled People's Education


KINONDONI municipality in Dar es Salaam region, in collaboration with Beula Communications, has organized a campaign aimed at raising 800m/- in cash and equipment to enable students with various forms of disability access quality education.

To support the drive, Kinondoni Municipal Mayor, Mr Yusuph Mwenda, said his office would contribute 100m/- while each worker would contribute 10, 000/- for the purpose.

Speaking at the launch of the campaign, Chairman of the Special Education committee in the municipality, Mr Lessly Nyambo, said there were an estimated 1,800 children with disability in primary and secondary schools in the municipality.

"These students lack specialized equipment to facilitate their learning. It should be noted that these students face a lot of challenges compared to their able-bodied colleagues," Mr Nyambo explained.

"For instance, students with hearing impairment may take up to ten years to complete primary education while it is supposed to take only seven years," he added.

He said that many students with physical disability dropped out of school due to lack of support of escorts to and from school. For his part, Mayor Mwenda said the municipality was determined to ensure students with disability had an opportunity to access education just like their able-bodied counterparts.

"It is only through education that these children can have an opportunity to make use of their talents. I urge parents to shun the habit of denying them education as this is their right," the mayor stressed.

He called on education stakeholders and other well-wishers, including businesspeople, public and private institutions, to support the campaign by donating cash and equipment to make the campaign successful.

Coordinator of the fundraiser, Mr Melkzedeck Mutta, said the campaign would climax on November 15, this year, at Leaders Club grounds in the city, adding that at the function there will be various sports activities involving students with disability from Ilala and Temeke municipalities.

The money donations could be made through mobile money transfers, namely M-Pesa 0769 408983, Tigo-pesa 0712 686804, Airtel Money 0785 415704 and through account number 22610001899 at NMB Msasani branch.



Lesotho's streets a jungle for the deaf

By Jordaania Andima

SOMETHING IN COMMON … Sbasiso Radebe (far left), Nina Morie (second left) and Tumelo Mokhobo (far right) play a game of cards with their friends. They all dropped out of school at a young age, due to various issues.Photograph by Jordaania Andima

NINA Morie (22) sits in a semicircle with friends as they play a game of cards, but he is annoyed by their lack of awareness.

Morie raises his hand to signal that it is his turn but no one notices. Turning his head slightly to the left, he hopes the boy next to him will see this communication, but he too is focused on the game.

Frustration takes over and Morie blurts out an animated sound. His chest rises and a wild expression of emotions crosses his face. Laughter erupts when Morie's failed attempt to articulate himself, is noticed by the group. Morie is deaf and cannot use sign language properly.

He is one of many children living on the streets of Lesotho's capital Maseru without access to education. Although he has a home, he chooses to spend most of his time on the streets doing his best to earn money.

When asked why he can be found on the streets, he answers in his best sign language, saying, “Because street life keeps me active.”

Morie only went up to the seventh grade. His family, who lives in the poverty-stricken area of Thibella-Seapoint in Maseru, could not afford to pay for his education. So he spent most of his time at home.

Since Lesotho introduced free pre-primary and primary school education in 2000 to reduce the number of school dropouts, the system fails to accommodate children with disabilities. The government has also failed to allocate sign language interpreters for deaf children living in rural areas.

The executive director of Lesotho National Federation of Organisations of the Disabled (LNFOD), Nkhasi Sefuthi, says this is because the Ministry of Education, through its department for special programmes, does not prioritise improving the lives of people living with disabilities.

“The Ministry of Education does not allocate a budget for the deaf and disabled children,” he says. “Instead, they prioritise the ordinary schools, leaving the disabled to fend for themselves.”

He says that before, deaf children have had no high school opportunities after Grade Seven. It is no surprise, he adds, that pre-primary education is not considered as a serious need for the deaf.

“Only those who are now in high school [with the provisions of free education] will be able to matriculate and proceed to vocational training centres. But they can only go that far as universities here do not cater for them,” explains Sefuthi.

Although Lesotho has a high literacy rate of 85%, between 23% and 40% of children living with disabilities between the ages of five and 20 do not attend primary school or high school.

Research by the World Food Programme in Lesotho says its strategic education plan for 2005 to 2015 that aims to increase access to basic education, has failed because some parents cannot meet the costs.

One such parent, Malerato Putsoa (40), fails to afford to take her two youngest children - aged one and two - to school. She says the cost of travelling from her home to the nearest pre-school, about 2,5km away, is too high.

“Although it is free, I cannot afford to take a taxi everyday. The school is simply too far. They will stay at home for now until I have enough money to take them,” she says.

The unemployed mother of three and her family also live in Thibella-Seapoint. The compound they call home is a place where walls are covered by moulds; where communal toilets are filled with human waste; and where the drainage systems are clogged with all sorts of rubbish including plastic bags.

In the compound, small children are left outside without their mothers, playing on a stack of dangerous objects instead of spending time in early childhood education centres. As a result, when they are old enough to enrol in primary school, they will lack basic counting skills.

According to the Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa (Osisa), the Lesotho government, with the support of the United Nations Children's Fund (Unicef) is establishing a policy to institutionalise pre-primary years of formal learning.

As for Morie, if nothing is done urgently, he will spend the rest of his life on the streets, looking for opportunities to make a little money for his survival.

- See more at: http://www.namibian.com.na/indexx.php?id=17822&page_type=story_detail&category_id=1#sthash.wDOdipiE.dpuf



Children with disability sacked over delayed subventions


Wednesday 17th September , 2014 3:00 pm
naana opoku

Pupils and students in all the government special schools for the physically challenged have been asked to return home until further notice due to government’s delay in releasing their subventions.

Citi News checks show that government failed to release monies for the 2013 academic year and the schools have still not received funds for the 2014 academic year which began on Tuesday.

The schools as a result have been forced to turn away pupils and students who showed up on the re-opening date.

Speaking to Citi News, the Headmaster of the Cape Coast School for the deaf and blind Fetumte Ameteywee pleaded with government to come to the aid of the affected children.

Related Stories

Special schools can’t reopen due to feeding grant arrears
“We know that times are hard but we are just pleading with the Central government to speed up the situation.”
He stated that students were sent home for almost three to four weeks last term due to lack of funds to cater for them.

“They were supposed to report on Tuesday with their regular counterparts but when they came we had to let them go because if they stay on, we would not be able to get money to feed them.”
He said about 400 students have so far been affected by the problem.

Meanwhile the President of the Conference of Special Schools in Ghana, Gayhart Charles Gbekle who confirmed this to Citi News said government has assured them the monies will be released soon.

“As of the end of last term, we did not receive all the grants. But we managed to sail through with a little from government and other benevolent organisations,” “We have been holding series of forums and discussions with the Ghana Education Service and on Monday, we had our last meeting and as I talk now they have released the arrears for last term,” Mr. Gbekle stated.

By: Marian Efe Ansah/citifmonline.com/Ghana



The deaf deserve support, recognition-James Sambian


Mr. James Sambian, of the Ghana National Association of the Deaf

With considerable experience in fieldwork and rich knowledge of working with the physically challenged persons, Mr. James Sambian, middle aged Ghanaian, is currently the Executive Director of the Ghana National Association of the Deaf (GNAD).

He joined the over 200,000 strong member association in April 2012, after serving as Executive Director of the Ghana Society for the Blind which has now merged with the Ghana Association of the Blind (GAB) to form the Ghana Blind Union (GBU).

He is still associated with the blind as member of its governing board of directors.

Speaking to me in his modest office in Accra, he had this to say.

“Moving from working with the blind persons to the deaf was easy for him because of his experience with the blind community, but the new position comes with some challenges.

“I am now learning to interact well with the deaf and the hearing impaired”.

Though he had no problem with his administrative duties Mr.Sambian was forced to learn how to communicate using sign language with the deaf community, especially those who are closer to him adding that “I have been coping well with the sign language.

I am catching up fast and very soon hope to be near perfect.

This is a big lesson to all of us who must interact with the deaf, he added saying we must all endeavor to learn sign language to be able to interact with the deaf”.

All of us in high and low positions must know that we are on a learning curve and therefore must endeavor to learn more about issues around us as we grow.

This is needed to keep us up to date on how people feel in the society.

Mr.sambian has revealed that there is the need for governments and everyone of us to accord the deaf and the hearing impaired greater attention, respect and honor needed for them to feel they are part of the Ghanaian and world society.

They have difficulty in being on the same page with us during communication on radio and television yet they need to know what is going on in the world around them.

They wish to know more about how the dreaded diseases like cholera and Ebola are contracted.

Mr.Sambian said his association is engaged in educating the deaf community of cholera and Ebola and said there is the need for more assistance for his association to do more.

They also wish to follow and understand current affairs and the trend of politicking going on between and within the major political parties such as New Patriotic Party and the National Democratic Congress.

The deaf wish to know the presidency and Ghana are faring.

Because of the limitations of their sense of hearing, we must employ the right methods in sign language to interact with them especially when explaining issues to them at home, work places and markets as we do to everyone else.

In spite of their limitation the deaf and the hearing impaired are equally intelligent.

When given the right attention they will perform their duties as workers, students and entrepreneurs like all of us.

Mr.Sambian commended the Star Ghana for coming to the aid of the association towards improving the lives of the deaf.

The programs involved sensitization programs in governance and democracy in four district assemblies, traditional authorities and other stakeholders.

As part of the program the capacity of the deaf in communication will be enhanced in the targeted areas.

Apart from this the association has began a program to provide economic empowerment for deaf women in dressmaking, bakery, and events decoration.

The association has also begun training twenty four (24) health personnel in two medical centers in two regions in sign language to be able to communicate with the deaf.

While twelve (12 medical personnel are being trained in Komfo Anokye hospital, in Kumasi , twelve health personnel (12) are being trained in Ridge Hospital in Accra

Mr.Sambam said the association has ten (10) regional and one hundred and two (102) district branches of the association in the country.

Whenever the association is about to carry out events, information on it is passed on to the members through the district and regional branches.

He lamented that the association does not receive financial support from government but receives assistance from DANIDA, Star Ghana, Abilis Foundation from Finland and other donors

Mr. Sambian narrated his experience in working with the deaf people so far in two years as follows:
Deaf people are very straightforward and honest
Because of their communication barrier, we need to make sure that the deaf understand the information we give them to avoid them doing the wrong things.

The deaf are intelligent and must not be seen as dull people.

Deaf people (from Mr.Sambian’s experience) want to participate and engage in activities and programs concerning the nation and its people.

We must make effort to involve them in activities in order for them to benefit from information regularly on radio television and other sources
We need to do all we can to involve the deaf in training on governance citizenship issues to be able to be part of the decision making process.

We must be open and truthful to the deaf and not ignore them in matters of importance on daily activities
We must seek the advice of the deaf before doing things involving them.

In an attempt to do things without their concern we would deny them their rights.

Because of the enormity of the problems of disability in Ghana, there is the need for government to pay attention to the special needs of the deaf and the hearing impaired by providing funding and personnel to intensify sign language for communication in Ghana.

ALHAJI A ABDULAI abdulai.alhasan@gmail.com/eanfoworld@yahoo.com 233 20 8844791



A day out with Miss Deaf

September 18, 2014 in Entertainment, Life and Style, Music

THE old adage embedded in the folklore adage goes, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder”.


However catching a glimpse of the young lady who dominated the disability pageants for close to half a decade may suddenly lead to the change of definitions of beauty as her qualities are uncontestable.

Speaking in sign language on a late Friday afternoon, the angelic-looking Kudakwashe Mapeture (KM) caught up with the NewsDay (ND) correspondent and had the following conversation.

ND: Give me a brief background of yourself.
KM: I am Kudakwashe Mapeture 22 years old, have six siblings and did primary education at Dudley Hall school before proceeding to Emerald Hill School for the Deaf for secondary education.

ND: How does it feel being Miss Zimbabwe and what motivated you to go for the title?
KM: There is no sweeter feeling like tasting the glory of being Miss Zimbabwe. I was motivated by the dream of proving to the world that while we are viewed as disabled, we are not different. As I grew up I just wanted to be a super model. I would save my pocket money and use it to purchase magazines just to see and admire those models, so this activity also inspired me to propel for greater and dizzy heights.

ND: May you explain how you entered the beauty industry and your journey?
KM: I became Miss Disability Zim 2011, Miss Deaf Zimbabwe in 2012 and I represented Zimbabwe at this Miss Deaf World in the Czech Republic, and this was my biggest achievement. Although I did not win, I made it into the top five out of 42 contestants. However, due to lack of financial support I have not been able to achieve some of the projects that I had planned to help some of the deaf orphans in my community.

ND: What lessons did you learn during the time you represented Zimbabwe?
KM: I learnt a lot when I represented Zimbabwe especially model grooming, makeup, skin, diet and seeing other beautiful girls from across the globe made me more confident.

ND: What are your aspirations and message you would like to send to the people out there?
KM: I am training to be an Early Childhood teacher for the deaf. I hope that one day the title Miss Deaf is going to be taken seriously in Zimbabwe and all modelling organisers will also consider the potential, our modelling prowess and see the potential we have both on entertainment as well as boosting tourism. I also hope that one of these days Zimbabwe will campaign to host the Miss World Deaf Beauty pageantry.

It is not always about being a winner, but is a journey towards achieving one’s dreams .My advice to the deaf people out there is that disability does not mean inability, stand up and prove to the world that you can make a difference.



Muslim Body Rescues Malawi Deaf Children

By Khalid Abubaker,
OnIslam Correspondent
Thursday, 18 September 2014 00:00

Starting their program in 2006, the organization has managed to score many achievements in cooperation with the country’s hospitals.

LILONGWE - Offering a new hope to deaf children, a Malawian Islamic organization has embarked on a new program to reduce rising socio-economic challenges facing those children, an initiative praised by the government as a “timely gesture.”

“Most children with deaf impairments in the country are going through numerous socio-economic challenges. Most of them are left uncared for by their communities. They are denied an opportunity to access basic social amenities,” Ahmad Maasha, Chairperson of Muslim Deaf Society (MDS), told OnIslam.net.

“It is therefore against this backdrop, that we have initiated this program to reach out to these children irrespective of their religious inclinations, so that together with the communities, we can assist these children to grow into productive citizens of this country.”

The Open Heart of a Deaf Muslim

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Starting their program in 2006, the organization has managed to score many achievements in cooperation with the country’s hospitals.

“In conjunction with one of the country’s major referrals, Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital, we identify children in the communities who have been abandoned,” Maasha said.

“We train them in sign language communication and provide them with hearing aids where necessary.”

As a result of their relentless efforts, scores of children have been rescued from the edge of the society where they were abandoned.

“Most parents and guardians in the communities feel that it’s a sheer waste of resources to raise a deaf child. Let alone send him/her to school. But through this initiative, we have managed to educate the parents on the need to send these children to school,” he added.

Describing people’s reaction to the initiative as “electrifying”, Maasha said with involvement of traditional leaders, deaf children have now a “sense of belonging” to the community.

“Traditional leaders have been very instrumental to help change people’s mindset in this regard. Deaf children now feel to be part and parcel of the society, where all along they have been ostracized,” said Maasha.

This is the first initiative of its kind and it’s since won itself plaudits across the country.

Timely Gesture

Malawi’s Minister of Health and Population Dr. Jean Kalilani, while describing the plight of children with hearing impairments as “indescribable”, said the initiative has come at a time government through her ministry was exploring ways to reach out to these children.

“As government, we applaud this initiative. Deaf children in the country are being ignored. They are being denied basic social services. Their plight can’t even be measured,” Kalilani told Onislam.net.

“This initiative therefore is a timely measure. As government, we seek this kind of partnership to reach out to these children.”

The minister appealed to other sectors of the society to join this effort.

“We should also seize this opportunity to appeal to other sectors of the society to join this initiative,” he told OnIslam.net.

“These children are future leaders of this country. If we abandon them, what kind of a country will Malawi be? Let us all join hands irrespective of our differences, religious or otherwise to take care of these children.”

On his part, National Chairperson of Muslim Association of Malawi (MAM) Sheikh Muhamad Idrissa lauded the development as a “wonderful humanitarian gesture.”

“This is a wonderful showcase of humanity that Muslims are demonstrating. We are setting a good example to the rest of the society. It is therefore important that we should all join hands to help these children to become full and productive citizens of this country,” Idrissa told OnIslam.net.

“Let me also appeal to well-wishers in the country and beyond to help this organization to live up to its mission. Without resources, all these efforts will go down the drain.”

Islam is the second largest religion in Malawi after Christianity. Muslims account for 36% of the country’s 16 million population.

“With the help and guidance of Allah, we are determined to make the difference in the lives of these children,” said Maasha.

“We are quite aware of the economic challenge for us to carry on with our mission, but against all odds, we will sail through in this imitative.”



Disabled people demand equal treatment in society

Sudan Tribune

September 21, 2014 (YEI) - Persons living with disabilities in Yei River county of South Sudan’s Central Equatoria state have appealed for equal treatment in society.

Speaking to reporters in the county, Sam Data James, one of the disabled persons, complained of neglect and that they are often not given opportunity to speak in public forums.

“There are a lot of insults, people do undermine us, and we are not allowed to express our views in the community. One may feel like giving the idea that he or she has on the mind it can be said that you are unable to give an appropriate suggestion,” he said.

Data, who lost both legs, usually finds it hard to move as he looks for survival means.

“We have a lot of challenges, there are movement problems, yet we have families and children who are supposed to be sent to school and there is no way,” he says, adding, “It is not easy to get work in order to get money.”

Rose Nighty, another person with disability, urged the government to consider them in decision making since disability was not inability.

“I want the government not to leave us behind. What I know is that if we are bad from the legs, our minds do work,” said Nighty.

“The community should not run away from people with disability,” she added, while speaking against the practice of discrimination.

Santo Paul Lasuba, the mayor of Yei municipal council, said government was commitment to protect the disabled and plans were to form an association that will assist them with their problems.

“People with disability should form an association and let them come through the civil society organisation so that if there is a help or something that is needed to be addressed should have channel, not that we do to individuals,” said Lasuba.

The commissioner of Yei, on the other hand, said doors were open to every citizen with genuine concern, including persons with disability.

“I hate if tomorrow I don’t become a person who welcome persons living with disability to come to my office. Even if he is an individual or not, I have the ability to meet his or her needs,” said Cosmas Bidali.



Government urged to consider health needs of deaf community


Government urged to consider health needs of deaf community Ghana National Association of the Deaf (GNAD) would like sign language interpretation services to be mainstreamed into the healthcare delivery system in Ghana. The call was made by the Executive Director of GNAD, James M Sambian.

Mr. Sambian called on government to factor concerns of the deaf in healthcare delivery system by ensuring sign language interpretation through: employing sign language interpreters, and secondly, training healthcare personnel in sign language to be able to receive deaf patients.
GNAD is hopeful the Ministry of Health (MOH) and Ghana Health Service (GHS) will implement an all-inclusive healthcare system that will factor the needs of the deaf. The Association acknowledges healthcare reforms over the years but admits that healthcare needs of deaf community are not taken seriously. “Deaf People in Ghana remains excluded and forgotten”. GNAD argues that in spite of the provisions made by the Disability Act 715(2006), the Constitution of Ghana and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability, Deaf People in Ghana are denied access to healthcare.

GNAD also thanked STAR-Ghana for the financial support for the sign language training of staff in the Komfo Anokye and Ridge Hospitals. They expressed hope that these positive signals would encourage sign language interpreters to be employed in all the major hospitals. The association urged all other health services providers, both public and private, to do same.



Disability is not inability - Stanley

Zambia Daily Mail-

Posted in Columnists, Features on September 22, 2014 by Online User
STANLEY MULENGA facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmail

STANLEY Mulenga believes there is no justification for a person to wallow in self-pity and survive on alms. Though born physically disabled, the 24-year-old trader is ambitious and determined.

He has faced many challenges including discrimination from society because of his disability. Somehow, he has also met people who have been good to him and this is what has kept him going.

However, Stanley, a trader-cum-singer, is a dreamer and wishes to fulfil his dreams of becoming an accomplished musician and successful entrepreneur.

The trader is no stranger to many Zambians as he came into the limelight sometime in 2005 with a song called “Necilema Mwinkana” which touched many hearts when he appeared on Smooth Talk on ZNBC TV. The song, which urges society to embrace the disabled, soon started bustling charts on local radio stations.

Featuring in the song which was recorded at Trevor Kalaluka’s studio, is Wilson Lungu also known as Wile. Kalaluka, known by his moniker T.K, is a music producer who stood by Stanley and helped him to record his inspiring, yet touching, song. In the song, Stanley narrates the challenges he experienced while growing up as a disabled child. The song received massive airplay on both radio and television but now the hype around it has died down.

Stanley, who is now earning a living through street-vending, hopes to get back to the recording studio, hopefully for another social commentary melody.

The artiste/trader was born on the first day of the year 1990 at the University Teaching Hospital (UTH) in Lusaka. He is the last-born child in a family of four children ? two boys and two girls.

Stanley was disabled right from birth and therefore as a child he experienced a lot of challenges, the biggest being the inability to mingle with friends.

He narrates that he was always left out when his friends were playing and so he never experienced how it felt to mingle with children of his age.

To make matters worse, Stanley lost his mother in 1999 when he was only nine.

His family has always been supportive and caring. “They have accepted me as I am, although I have never stayed much with my family because I spent most of my life in boarding school and this has helped me to be independent. I like being independent and not dependent. I am now staying on my own in Mandevu,” he said.

Stanley started school quite late at age nine because it was difficult for his parents to find a suitable school owing to his disability. After several efforts, his family finally found him a place at Dagama Special School, a boarding school for disabled children located in Luanshya.

He schooled at Dagama from grades one to nine.

“Life at Dagama was fun, it was great and I miss it because it is part of who I am today,” he said.

Stanley did well in his grade nine examinations and earned himself a place at Kabulonga Boys High School where he completed school in 2011.

He says the reception at Kabulonga Boys, where he was in boarding, was overwhelmingly good. For the first time in his school life, Stanley was able to interact with able-bodied people.

“I had a lot of friends and that just made me feel able-bodied too,” he said. However, regardless of the warm reception at Kabulonga Boys, Stanley who spent his entire school life in boarding, faced challenges which to some extent affected his performance.

For example, he was a slow writer, and though this had a negative effect on his class performance, he relentlessly worked hard.

During holidays, Stanley stayed with different relatives. After completing school, he could not proceed for tertiary education due to lack of sponsorship, and this is how he found himself on the street selling small wares.

Stanley, who deals in stationery, biscuits, sweets and other edibles on Cairo Road, said he started trading on the street in 2012 when a friend gave him capital for a small business.

He says this friend, whom he did not want to name has been supportive to him since his schooldays.

“I got to know her through a mutual friend. I told her that I needed her to help me with capital so that I could start up something that could sustain me. I did not want to be bothering her by asking for money all the time. She gladly gave me the capital,” Stanley said.

Although business is tough on the streets of Lusaka, Stanley is able to earn himself a meagre income to survive on.

He lives in Mandevu and his day starts as early as 06:00 hours every morning. He begins his day with morning devotion, thereafter starts off for town after breakfast. He is usually in town by 08:30 hours, knocks off at 17:00 hours and retires to bed at 22:00 hours.

On Saturdays he works half-day, and being a devout Catholic, Sunday is a day of rest for Stanley.

His future ambition is to expand his business and to own a supermarket as well as a stationery shop. All he needs is capital to prove that disability is not synonymous with inability.

Once he is established in business, Stanley would like to help vulnerable people in society to realise their dreams.

His message to his contemporaries who are disabled is: “Rise up and take opportunities in life; don’t pity yourselves but accept the state you are in and follow your ambitions. If you are in my condition, accept who you are, acceptance is the key to everything. Do not wait for the government or other people to help you because they might not come to your aid. It’s up to you to know your talent, stand on your feet and work hard for what you want to achieve.

“Life is about hard work and sacrificing; people will always talk whether you do good or bad, so don’t mind them. Have self-esteem and stay focused.”
However, Stanley feels Government need not completely ignore the disabled.

“The government should identify people like me and come to their aid by providing them with something that they can do to survive,” he said.



Deaf woman ‘butchered’ in hospital

Independent Online
September 22 2014 at 12:29pm By Ntando Makhubu Comment on this story
Copy of PN Mamelodi pensioner3503

An operation at Steve Biko Academic Hospital to remove her haemorrhoids four years ago left this Mamelodi pensioner with debilitating pain and a hernia. Photo: Thobile Mathonsi

Pretoria - When Salome Skosana went under the knife to remove haemorrhoids four years ago little did she know that she’d be left with four years of debilitating pain and discomfort. Two years would be spent carrying a stoma bag, and two more with a growing hernia.

The huge lump on the left side of her stomach is extremely painful, and it has stopped her from carrying out any domestic chores or economic activity.

It also weighs heavily on her side and has altered her walk, and changed her eating and sitting habits: “What a price to pay for having piles,” she told Pretoria News.

Skosana’s “journey of hell”, as she describes it, began in 2010 at the hands of specialists at Steve Biko Academic Hospital. They removed the piles and discharged her with a stoma bag attached to the colostomy incision on the left side of her stomach.

“I came back two months later, as instructed. They pronounced the site of the haemorrhoids completely healed but did not close me up and remove the bag. Instead I was sent from pillar to post for two years before they operated on me again,” Skosana said.

In that two-year period she made repeated visits to the hospital and several attempts to see the head of department, under whose instruction the procedures had been done.

All were in vain, she said.

She spent days sitting outside his office hoping to see him, and a few times he walked past her. “When he saw me he would hurry past and look away, ignoring me completely.”

The operation to close the colostomy was eventually done 27 months after the initial operation. And a few days after that she was discharged but the hernia appeared on her left side - and in two years it has grown more than four times in size.

She went back to the hospital, and during meetings with other doctors she was told the incision was too wide and too deep.

In written communication between her and some medical officers, she was told her chances of survival grew slimmer by the day, but they could not help. Closure of the incision had to be done by the doctors who had initially opened it.

One note ? a request sent to the head of department by another doctor - says he does not understand why Skosana has not been seen by the doctor, and urges immediate surgery to rid her of the inconvenient lump.

Skosana is deaf, therefore she has a lot of written communication with doctors. In one note she is told of a defect in her abdominal wall, while in another she is informed that her intestines were pushing out, making it “bigger, thus needing to be closed”.

Another doctor, from Mamelodi hospital from where she had been referred to Steve Biko, writes: “I am sorry, I cannot operate on such a big hernia, it is too risky.”

The doctor promises to push Steve Biko to operate on her.

“But they never did, he never did either,” she said.

“I have lost all hope, no one is willing to help me because I am deaf, ” she says.

She carries the hernia with difficulty and pain, and she has been unable to knit the jerseys she sold to generate an income.

“I cannot sit in front of my sewing machines because of pain and discomfort,” the pensioner said.

While the Health Department was unable to talk about the case, Steve Biko Hospital chief executive Dr Ernest Kenoshi, said he had handed Skosana’s matter to the clinical department of surgery.

“They will contact Ms Skosana and arrange that she be brought in for review.

“Subsequent to this, the surgeons will manage her clinical condition in the best way possible,” he said.

“They butchered me four years ago and did nothing despite repeated requests.

“Why would that change now,” Skosana asked.


Pretoria News



Mehleb puts Disability Council under social solidarity ministry’s supervision

Daily News Egypt / September 23, 2014 / 0 Comments / 90 Views
Government does not care about the disabled: NCDA former head
Prime Minister Ibrahim Mehleb (AFP File Photo)

Prime Minister Ibrahim Mehleb amended on Monday a cabinet decision governing the National Council for Disability Affairs (NCDA) putting the council under the supervision of the Ministry of Social Solidarity.

The NCDA head Hossam Al-Massah resigned on Wednesday after the Minister of Social Solidarity Ghada Wali had said that she doesn’t understand the disabled.

“If she doesn’t understand the disabled, then how will she deal with them?” said Al-Massah on Mehwar TV Channel.

Al-Massha resigned in protest at perceived disrespect of the handicapped and the council, calling the decision to place the council under the ministry’s control as unconstitutional.

“We exerted a lot of effort on the constitution’s articles,” said Al-Massah, who was on the 50-person committee that drafted the 2014 constitution.

“The disabled are far from the interests of the government,” he said.



Disability is not inability when one is focused

New Vision
Publish Date: Sep 23, 2014

Students of Sir Apollo Kaggwa secondary school trying out the white canes donated to them by Standard Chartered Bank staff. PHOTO/Wilfred Sanya

By Wilfred Sanya Blind students of Sir Apollo Kaggwa secondary school in Nazigo sub-county, Mukono district will be able to walk freely without moving in groups to find direction after being aided with 30 white canes .

The school was started by Ernest Kaggwa, the brother to Sir Apollo Kaggwa during the reign of Kabaka Mutesa 1. It was later taken over by government in the 1980s.Today it has 320 students thirty of whom are blind.

“Disability is not inability but one has to look beyond to be achiever in life. Even if you are vision impaired you can still be useful to society as long as you are focused”, said Standard Chartered bank representative, Harriet Muwonge, during the handover ceremony of 30 white canes, 20 reams of brail paper, a 5000 litre water tank and other scholastic materials on September 20, 2014.

The head teacher Lydia Rwendeire lamented that even in the two new buildings built by government, students find it difficult to move freely because they were designed for normal students.

Rwendeire also said some blind students were abandoned and have never been visited by their relatives since they were brought to school.

She urged parents to support their children with disability like they do with other children.

“Thank God today will be a memorable day to us because we shall no longer move in groups to find directions. In the past it was hard to find direction to classes and accessing water in the dormitory was another issue”, said Norah Nabatanzi one of the students.



Al-Tayar Al-Sha’aby rejects putting disability council under supervision of social solidarity ministry

Daily News Egypt-
Aya Nader / September 24, 2014 / 0 Comments

Political group displeased with minister of social solidarity’s “insult” of disability council head

Al-Tayar Al-Sha’aby political group came out against Prime Minister Ibrahim Mehleb’s Monday decision which put the National Council for Disability Affairs (NCDA) under the supervision of the Ministry of Social Solidarity.

The group is also against the resignation of NCDA head Hossam Al-Massah, who had announced he was stepping down on 17 September after Minister of Social Solidarity Ghada Wali had said that she doesn’t understand the disabled.

Al-Massha resigned in protest of perceived disrespect of the handicapped and the council, calling the decision to place the council under the ministry’s control as unconstitutional.

A Monday statement from the group condemned Wali’s behaviour, and said that it disagreed with Mehleb’s decision as it marginalises the role of the council, and puts it in the ranks of national NGOS and associations, which are supervised by the Ministry of Solidarity.

“This undervalues the role of an important sector of the Egyptians,” said the statement.



Gambia: Gadhoh Commemorates International Week of Deaf

By Lolly M. Camara & Jainaba D. Jatta

Gambia Association of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (GADHOH), on Thursday commemorated the International Week of the Deaf at a ceremony held at its headquarters in Kanifing. The world Federation of the Deaf (WFD) first launched International Day of the Deaf in 1958 and the day was later extended to a 'week'. As celebrated worldwide every last week of September, The Gambia is no exception in the celebration.

Addressing the gathering, Alh. Malick Jones, the permanent secretary no. 2, who deputised for the permanent secretary at the Ministry of Information and Communication Infrastructure, said every year some 70 million deaf people globally celebrate this important week, with special attention on issues affecting deaf people, as well as disseminating information on deaf people and deafness for the purpose of promoting their rights and full participation in society.

He went on to highlight the role and support the government of The Gambia, under the dynamic leadership of His Excellency, the President; Sheikh Professor Alhagi Dr. Yahya AJJ Jammeh Nasuru Deen Babili Mansa has rendered and continues to do so in pursuit of the welfare of the deaf and hard of hearing.

Jones emphasised that The Gambia being a member of the United Nations and guided by the principles of the U.N Standard Rules on the Equalisation of opportunities had ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities on the 1st July 2013, without reservation. He added that the government of The Gambia is conscious and committed on those duties to protect, promote and fulfill the rights of PWDs, which GADHOH, in particular is not an exception.

He opined that the theme for this year's celebration, 'Strengthening Human Diversity' could not have come at a much better time than now, taking into account the world is getting more competitive as technology and information technology keep moving with a one supersonic speed. He affirmed that human being is left with no alternative, but to catch up with that speed, regardless of what their limitations are.

According to him, the Gambia Diversity is given due prominence, remembering those lines of Nationalism as spelt out in the National Anthem. He stated that human race is nothing, but one big family, created and ordained by Allah.

The PS two (2) at Ministry of Information finally assured GADHOH that their request has been taken very seriously and positive discussions and agreements have been reached with GRTS management, in line with their goals to serve the entire people of The Gambia.

For his part, Hon. Seedy Njie, on behalf of the Speaker of the National Assembly, said " for far too long the world has been guilty of turning a blind eye to the challenges, discrimination and prejudice that people with disabilities faced every single day of their lives."

This, he added, have been those who have been left behind when it comes to development, according to World Health Organization, as over a billion people in the world are living with disabilities.

Hon. Njie added that the spirit of the convention is already enshrined in the 1997 Constitution of the second Republic, not to mention the Children's Act 2005 and Women's Act 2010, all of which emphasised the need for equal opportunity for persons with disabilities.

He opined that on this year's theme, society needs to be sensitised so that it can better enhance its capacity to take into account the diversity and make neccesary changes. "National Associations, such as GADHOH can for example, take concrete steps to raise awareness among government officials, ministers, authorities, responsible persons at workplaces, medical professionals, national education experts etc,"he stated.

"Today, in The Gambia, people are all being given a chance to build a better life, despite their disability, again the government and indeed the National Assembly as peoples' disability rights, through their programmes, and by supporting civil society organisations working on disability," he added.

He thus encouraged them to keep up the momentum and keep working to fight against discrimination.

Amadou Touray, Hon. Live President of the association, said that this year's celebrations is yet another milestone in the development of GADHOH. He stated that the theme for this year's celebration which is 'Strengthening Human Diversity' is a cause for concern and a need for more unity.

According to him, diversity talks about a lot of things, as both humans and animals live on the same earth. He then recommended the government of the day for giving priority to the disabled in the country.

The president of GADHOH, Abdoulkari Drammeh said the International Week of the Deaf is being celebrated annually by deaf people, not only in The Gambia, but also worldwide during the last week of every September. He outlined that at GADHOH, they have organised marches, symposia, sports, and dances, to highlight human rights issues.

Dodou Loum, the executive director of GADHOH, Ebrima Bah Commissioner of Police and Yarbo Jarju of Social Welfare, all shared similar sentiment at the occasion.



South Africa: The State of South African Sign Language

By Katy Scott

The last full week of September, which is Deaf Awareness Month, is the International Week of the Deaf. This year the theme is 'Strengthening Human Diversity'.

"We don't see deafness as a disability," explains Cara Loening, director of Sign Language Education and Development (SLED). "We embrace it as a new language and culture that has been brought into our lives."

SLED started 14 years ago to facilitate the literacy and learning of the deaf child through the promotion of South African Sign Language (SASL). With access to SASL, there is no reason for a deaf child not to achieve exactly the same as a child with hearing child, explains Kirsty Maclons, head of deaf education and sign language at SLED.

Too often deaf children leave school still unable to read and write.

SLED initially focused on training teachers how to bridge from SASL to written English. But most teachers of the deaf were not able to use SASL, and instead used a kind of Fanagolo. They mix the rules and grammar of one language (English) with that of another (SASL) and can end up confusing the child further.

So SLED started to train teachers in SASL first, and then in how to use SASL to bridge to written English.

Leigh McDonald from SLED was born deaf to hearing parents (as is most commonly the case). Her parents wanted her to get a cochlea implant.

"My brother and I are both deaf," she explains. "We had hearing aids and we were forced to speak".

"Unfortunately for most parents when a child is born deaf it becomes a medical thing, a question of how can you fix something that is broken," says Loening.

In Sweden, unlike South Afrcia, the family and extended family of the deaf child are legally obliged to learn sign language.

McDonald was initially taught orally (where deaf students are taught to speak and not use any signing). She was then exposed to Total Communication (using speech and some kind of signing simultaneously). But it was only in high school that she was fortunate enough to study her language for the first time through a deaf teacher who worked at the school.

"I was born deaf and my mother said that it was a gift from God," explains sign language facilitator at SLED, Nombuyekezo Mathidala. "I had a sister who was really close to me and she learned a little bit of SASL from me, but my mother was only interested in learning the fingerspelling alphabet."

Things were slightly easier for Zoliswa Flekisi, also a sign language facilitator. "My family accepted that I was deaf ... they found a school that matched my needs." At home after school, she would proudly stand in front of everybody and sign away. "I would pray: 'Our Father who art in Heaven' and everybody would be really impressed at what I was doing."

Zoliswa Flekisi teaching sign language. Photo provided by SLED.

Currently, at most schools for the deaf, in the foundation phase there is a hearing teacher (not usually qualified in sign language) and a deaf teacher assistant. As the two do not prepare the lessons together, there is no sharing of knowledge and no understanding, says Loening. For example, if the hearing teacher writes the word "kind" on the black board and asks the deaf teacher assistant to interpret this word, there are various meanings that could be interpreted and therefore room for confusion.

At colleges or universities, the hearing lecturers rely on the interpreters for everything. In South Africa, there is a severe shortage of trained, qualified interpreters and there isn't an established body focusing on interpreter training, says Loening.

To become an interpreter takes many years and requires a strong knowledge of the language as well as further education in the subject being interpreted. This is particularly important for university, court and community interpreting.

A huge skill that is lacking in interpreters is that of using spoken language to accurately reflect the deaf person, and not just use simple English, says Loening. "The general public thinks that the interpreter is just there for the deaf person to understand me, and they forget that it goes the direction as well."

Not enough research has been done on SASL. Initial research indicated that there were nine different South African signed languages, which isn't true, according to Maclons. Sign language has very little in common structurally with any spoken language, she says.

"SASL is quite unique and there are lots of dialects usually focused around the different schools for the deaf," she explains.

Under apartheid there were white schools and black schools for the deaf. Once the schools became more racially integrated, there was a lot more interaction and excitement around learning other dialects. "It was almost like when a child starts learning new words, that kind of excitement."

Deaf people don't have a problem with different dialects. "We are one huge community and there is an interest in the various dialects and being able to understand each other," says Flekisi.

Flekisi taught at Noluthando School for the Deaf in Khayelitsha for 20 years. "It's through facial expression, body language and similar grammatical structure that we are able to share and understand."

"It would be terrible if we didn't have variety and dialect in South African Sign Language.... it adds to the richness," explains Maclons. The beauty of languages is that they grow, they're flexible and they change.

Current developments

On 13 August, Minister Angie Motshekga approved the Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statements for SASL Grade R to Grade 12 at Home Language level.

"Now for the first time deaf children are going to be given the opportunity to study South African Sign Language as a Home Language subject, just like an English speaker studies English," explains Maclons.

The curriculum is to be rolled out in 2015 at South African schools for the deaf, focusing on the foundation phase and bridging Grade Nine so that they can start studying until Grade 12.

But the Department of Education is not ready for this roll out, explains Loening. The curriculum is there, but the main issue is the lack of specialists in SASL. There are very few qualified deaf teachers and first language SASL users.



We’re also sexually active, say the disabled

New Zimbabwe.com-

I'm already blind so I don't need to turn lights off for sex ... Nascoh official Tsarai Mungoni

27/09/2014 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter

We need better financing for disability programmes ... Henry Masaya
Prof fights for her and other disabled kids

DISABILITY activists have demanded the recognition of their sexual rights and inclusion in HIV related interventions by both government and NGOs.

National Association of Societies for the Care of the Handicapped (Nascoh) head of research and advocacy Tsarai Mungoni told an HIV and Aids seminar at weekend that the disabled were as sexually active as their able bodied counterparts.

He accused policy makers and the greater society of totally overlooking the disabled in various programmes, adding that this invariably placed the disabled at greater risk of contracting the virus.

Mungoni said current attempts to fight the HIV/AIDS would be futile if society continuously pretended the disabled had no sexual needs.

“Persons with disabilities are viewed as sick, hence no need to include them in decision making let alone HIV and Aids programme; someone perceived as not sick has a duty to think and decide for them,” he said.

“This is why they are not consulted and this is why they are not involved in HIV and Aids governance, despite being contributors to Aids levy in Zimbabwe.

"We are not included at secretarial and board level at National Aids Council because we are perceived as sick."
Mungoni took to comedy to illustrate his point when he suggested that his blindness placed him in a ready state to engage in sex.

“We are also perceived as being incapable of engaging in sex. Let me note that you don’t need to acquire a diploma or degree to be able to engage in a sexual act. What you only need is that ability to innovate to make that act more enjoyable.

“Isn’t it that when you want to engage in sex, you actually modify your environment so that you become blind through turning your lights off.

“Given my blind condition, l can safely say l am always ready for the act,” Mungoni said, much to the amusement of the participants.

The outspoken activist said the disabled remained vulnerable to the HIV/AIDS as all material and information dissemination on the pandemic was only provided in conventional methods and there was nothing on the market in braille.

He also said people with hearing impairments could also not access audio information, while those with physical disabilities were not be able to use condoms without assistance.

Henry Masaya, Nascoh finance officer also lamented poor financing of activities meant for the disabled who were in greater danger of contracting HIV/Aids because of how society has responded to their needs.

The disabled were placed in institutions which enabled them to get education and psycho-social needs which were not easy to access in the normal environment.

Masaya however, urged the authorities to also look at the negatives that occur out of that.
“Keeping people together outside their normal environments whether it is in refugee camps, prison or educational institutions created an ideal environment for sexual activity,” said Masaya, who urged more government support for the centres.

Zimbabwe has an estimated population of two million disabled citizens whose needs fall under the social welfare ministry.



7.5 percent of S/Africans living with a disability - Official

Posted by: APA Posted date : September 28, 2014 at 10:25 am UTC 188 views In: Africa

Some 7.5 percent of South Africa’s population has one form of disability or another, according to Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) on Saturday.Briefing reporters on the Profile of Persons with Disabilities in the report, Statistician General Pali Lehohla said this meant that 29 million out of 51.8 million people lived with a form of disability in the country.

But due to a change in definition, the number of people with disabilities was now at 7.5 percent from 2 percent in 2001, he clarified.

a??By region, this disability survey shows the provinces of North West, Northern Cape and Free State as being more predominant in having disability populationsa?? than in the rest of the country’s six provinces, the Statistician General said.

According to the report, disability was more prevalent among women compared to men (8.3 percent and 6.5 percent, respectively), and that black people had the highest proportion of people with disabilities at 7. 8 percent followed by whites at 6.5 percent.

Disability is defined as the loss or elimination of opportunities to take part in the life of the community due to physical, sensory, psychological, development and other impairments.

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Sierra Leone News: Disabled Persons benefit from Ebola Education


Disabled persons in two Freetown communities have benefited from food and money as part of an Ebola education exercise from the charity Christmas 4 Street Kids Foundation, and the Nigerian High Commissioner to Sierra Leone.

The beneficiaries are less privileged persons residing at the House of Jesus on Wallace-Johnson Street, and of the Help Empower Polio Persons Organisation (HEPPO) at the old Public Words Department yard on Pademba Road.

The Chief Executive Officer of the Christmas 4 Street Kids Foundation, Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs Ebun Strasser-King, explained that each year at Christmas her organisation feeds street children in the central part of Freetown, and provides them with gifts, as she said Christmas is a time of giving and a chance to show these children that someone cares.

She said because of the present Ebola crisis, she thought it would be wise to engage vulnerable families and households immediately in the communities where her foundation operates.

In preparing for this new challenge, she consulted her diplomatic colleague and friend, Madam Gladys Adebiyi, who is Nigeria’s High Commissioner to Sierra Leone, and someone who has compassion for the less privileged.

Together, Madam Strasser-King and High Commissioner Adebiyi decided to organise the Ebola education exercise for persons with disabilities in the two communities, and to provide them with food, considering that during this difficult time most of them cannot fend for themselves and their families.

Also attending the education exercise were the Minister of Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs, Moijueh Kaikai, and his deputy, Mustapha Bai Attila. Both of them commended the gesture of the Christmas 4 Kids foundation and the Nigerian High Commissioner to Sierra Leone. They noted that while the food items were important, it was also important to educate vulnerable people on the dangers of Ebola, including the do’s and don’ts of infection prevention and control of the disease.

The two ministers informed the beneficiary households of Government’s intention to improve living conditions for every Sierra Leonean, with special attention to vulnerable groups.

They urged the disabled families to respect and listen to the messages coming from government, especially from health workers, and to report all suspected case of Ebola to the nearest health facility.

Members of family households at Wallace-Johnson Street and Pademba Road were very appreciative of the donations, noting that their knowledge on the hazards of Ebola had improved. They said they will in turn educate other members of the community, in order to break the chain of transmission of the disease.

The food items presented to the two categories of disabled persons include bags of rice, onions, and gallons of cooking oil, with a cash donation of Le4 million Leones.

By Ade Campbell
Tuesday September 30, 2014


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