Deputy Minister of Gender appeals to TV stations to engage sign language interpreters


Deputy Minister of Gender, Community Development and Social Welfare, Agnes’s Nkusa Nkhoma has appealed to local TV stations to engage sign language interpreters to allow people with hearing impairment to understand TV programmes.

Nkusa Nkhoma made the call on Friday at Sakata area, Traditional Authority Nkagula in Zomba during the commemoration of World Sign Language Day.

She said the government will train 500 sign language interpreters and has since appealed to TV stations to employ people that can communicate through sign language.

“The government teach learners with hearing and visual impairment so that they should understand sign language and writings in braille,” she added.

Nkusa Nkhoma also appealed to parents with children of visual and hearing impairment to send them to school so that they should become productive citizens.

She further asked ministries, departments and agencies to employ qualified people with disabilities saying disability does not disqualify them to work.

“Let me commend the University of Malawi for its decision to introduce sign language dictionary because it will help people with hearing impairment,” Nkusa Nkhoma added.

Board Chairperson of MANAD, Stephano Maneya said learners with hearing impairment face a lot of challenges in schools because most schools have no sign language teachers that can teach the learners with such impairment.

He observed that health facilities find it it difficult to handle people with hearing impairment such that people with such impairment receive wrong prescription and ended up receiving wrong medication.

He further observed that most health facilities have no personnel that understand sign language.

Maneya therefore appealed to government to train and employ many sign language teachers to effectively teach learners with hearing impairment.

He also asked government to train and employ sign language medical personnel that should be deployed to various health facilities to ensure that people with hearing impairment receive quality health services.

Chairperson of Civil Society Organisations (CSO) network in Zomba, Sammy Aaron, said the CSOs will continue to advocate for quality education and quality health services to people with hearing impairment

He also appealed to non-governmental organisations in the country to employ people with various forms of disabilities including those with hearing impairment saying people with disability are also entitled to human rights.

The World Sign Language Day was held under the theme ‘Sign Language Unite Us’.

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