By Nana Ama Gyapong
People who are hard of hearing usually communicate through spoken language and can benefit from hearing aids, cochlear implants, and other assistive devices, as well as captioning.
‘Deaf’ people mostly have profound hearing loss, which implies very little or no hearing. They often use sign language for communication, but the question remains: how many people can they communicate with, and how will these people understand the sign language?
Speaking with Thelma Tackie on GTV’s Breakfast show, Mr Juventus(deaf) explained through an interpreter that one of the challenges they face is communicating with other people through sign language, especially those who do not understand the signs.
He said, “in the deaf community, we interact amongst ourselves, but there’s a need for us to interact with the hearing people we are living with because when you’re home with your siblings and they are watching movies, clearly they understand and are excited about it, but those of us who cannot hear are not given access to the information or message in the movie.”
He continued, “access to education is another problem we face. I am fortunate enough to be in the university and now a lawyer but there are other deaf people who wish to be in school as well but are not fortunate enough because of the sign language barrier and the lack of sign language interpreters both at home and in school.”
In conclusion, Mr Juventus said, “the sign language must be accepted as a natural language or official language for deaf people because that is the key to everything we do. Every parent who gives birth to a deaf child must be able to speak their language through signs in order to watch them grow through their advice.”