Sign language

The Deaf Community

Around 466 million people in the world suffer from hearing loss, 80% of such people come from lower- middle income backgrounds (1) in countries that lack in hearing care services and hearing aid equipment. Without seeking suitable medical care, hearing lose poses a serious threat in the lives of the ones affected. Through rehabilitation, awareness, education and empowerment, adverse effect caused from hearing loss can be reduced.

Challenges Faced by the Deaf Community

Hearing loss occurs from genetic causes, infectious diseases, ear infection, ageing, complication at birth and so on. No matter what the cause, according to a report submitted by WHO (World Health Organization) around 60% of hearing loss can be prevented from early childhood (1). Most common challenges which the deaf community face are as follows:

    • Depression and Anxiety

Studies have revealed that deaf people suffer from anxiety and depression (2) twice as more than a normal person. This is mainly due to the feelings of isolation, being left out or bullying.

    • Sign language misunderstandings

Sign language is more complex than it actually looks. It’s far from being universal, every specific region has their own specification. For instance, American sign language is different from British sign language.

    • Social Isolation

Around nine in 10 deaf children are born to hearing parents (2). Excessive reliability on making out what’s being said just by reading lips is remarkably difficult and it leads to misunderstandings. The emotional toll of not being able to communicate to closest one is one of the biggest trauma deaf people go through.

 

Basic Rights of Deaf People

The CRDP which is the abbreviation for Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities supports deaf culture and claims that it should be a basic human right (3). The convention is attended to promote social development causes especially for disable people, reaffirming them to enjoy all basic human rights. Some of the basic human rights that every deaf people should enjoy are:

    • Right to education
    • Right for acquiring basic sign language knowledge
    • Equal employment opportunities
    • Deaf culture and Linguistic Identity

Support by DMI Norway

In developing countries, deaf people are given least amount of rights and care. Receiving no education at all they lack basic knowledge of becoming independent. Luckily, DMI Norway is on a mission to help the deaf create better living conditions for themselves (4). It aims to do so by providing them support through:

    • Building churches
    • Giving education
    • Self-support knowledge

Keeping sign language at the core of all languages, it strives to achieve its objective by offering support, empowerment and encouragement to the deaf so, they could live a better life more independently.

 

Reference Websites

    1. https://www.sound-seekers.org.uk/hearing-loss/
    2. https://www.verywellhealth.com/what-challenges-still-exist-for-the-deaf-community-4153447
    3. https://www.un.org/development/desa/disabilities/convention-on-the-rights-of-persons-with-disabilities.html
    4. https://en.dminorge.no/our-work/