“Nothing about us, without us!”
To quote author James Charlton, the slogan above “expresses the conviction of people with disabilities that they know what is best for them.” When working with deaf communities or any differently-abled community for that matter, the value of representation must be considered and integrated.
The international week of the deaf is an initiative of the World Federation of the Deaf (WFD), and it promotes the awareness of human rights and sign language by hosting a variety of events around the globe. Every year, the last week of September witnesses highly concentrated global advocacy to raise awareness about the deaf community on different levels.
The students and teachers at Mata Bhagwanti Chadha Niketan celebrate this week with great enthusiasm. Under the watchful eye of our teachers, students participate in various programs and events that require them to show their unique talents and express their views. All the events are designed in ways that ensure complete inclusion of the deaf community.
This year, to celebrate and empower the hearing impaired, our talented students wrote and performed skits on various social issues like gender discrimination, child abuse and right for education.
The skits above, performed using sign language, convey powerful messages and strike the right chords. Sign language is an essential tool of communication for tens of thousands of deaf people across the world. But in most cases, limitations in the use of this language make the children and adults who are hearing impaired deprived of their right to communicate with others, and therefore, from enjoying many other rights.
Language should be all-inclusive; learning sign language and using it more often can help ensure that. During this International Week of the Deaf, it is important to remember that without the inclusion of the deaf community, we are not only being unfair to our own brethren, but also missing out on their valuable contribution to society.