International Week of deaf people
People with disability residing in Honiara gathered yesterday to commemorate International Week of Deaf People and International Day of Sign Language.
The theme of the week-long celebration was “Rights, culture and sign language for equal opportunities and accessing information”.
Speaking at the occasion, Dr. Neimia Bainavlu said it is encouraging to see organisations such as the Solomon Islands Deaf Association (SIDA) taking the effort to encourage the realisation of abilities and the significant evidence of empowerment by persons with disabilities in taking the leading role in activities of their interests,”
“The goal of empowerment is for persons with disabilities and their family members to make own decisions and take responsibility for changing their lives and improving their communities,”Dr Bainavalu added.
Dr, Bainavalu said the effort in organising such kind of events requires different skills.
Those include teamwork skill, leadership, planning, organizing, coordinating, networking, communication, negotiations, budgeting creativity, multitasking and “teaching savvy, ‘to name a few.
“You have demonstrated those skills by making this event a reality that brings all of us on this occasion as an approach towards community participation and community mobilization.
“This international week help us to promote awareness of human rights and sign language by hosting a variety of activities on the theme.”
Claude Ivupitu, President for Solomon Islands Deaf Association (SIDA), acknowledged the presence of all invited guests and people with disability.
“I am so happy to see you all today. This is our first ever event and I really appreciate all of you who have managed to spare your Monday morning to join us in the celebration,” Mr.Ivupitu said.
He stressed people who are deaf and have hearing loss have been considered disabled, have been marginalised and discriminated in all spheres of life.
“The event starting yesterday is an opportunity for them (deaf people) to raise awareness and issues they face.”
Wilson Kini displayed dresses he had made and Mr.
Ivupitu thanked the Australian Government funded program Strongim Bisnis for supporting the event and also UNDP through their Access to Justice Program.
The International week of deaf people and International day of sign language is celebrated annually by the global Deaf community during the last full week of September.
This is the same month the first World Congress of the World Federation of Deaf was held.
Source. Island Sun newspaper.
It is shameful to lean of discrimination against deaf people and I very much hope marginalization of people suffering deafness is not being practiced in the Solomon Islands.
Some weeks ago I wrote about free hearing aids I had managed to negotiate from the Western Australian Ear Science Institute for the NRH’s ENT unit, but with a new CEO in office at the hospital, I am hopeful that Dr. Solomon will take up the offer and contact me for further information on the proposal.
Equally, I raised the possibility of obtaining books in braille for those able to read braille. My proposal suggested the Australian High Commission and the UNDP might offer help, but I was never contacted by either party.