|Dact to improve Sign Language usage in Masvingo|
MASVINGO - Disability Amalgamated Community Trust (DACT) is this week celebrating the international week of the deaf in by advocating for greater use of Sign Language in communities especially at public institutions.
Speaking to TellZim News, DACT executive director Henry Chivhanga said it was not enough that Sign Language was one of the 16 official languages recognised by the national constitution.
“We want Sign Language to be well-recognised in communities so that we can have a society that is more integrated and that takes the needs of people with disabilities seriously.
“Currently, should a deaf person have a case to report to the police, he/she would most likely face communication challenges because people who are conversant with the language are very few in public institutions,” said Chivhanga.
He said he was encouraged that more community members were beginning to appreciate the importance of mainstreaming disability issues into the everyday discourse.
“The Presbyterian Church at Yeukai business centre in Mucheke, for instance, has granted us space in their yard where we can conduct Sign Language classes to members of the community who are willing to learn.
“We encourage residents of Masvingo to take advantage of this opportunity to come and join our efforts to improve the integration of disabled people in communities by learning Sign Language,” said Chivhanga.
Presbyterian Church pastor, Rev Kurauone Mutimwii said he was delighted that his institution was contributing towards the improvement of conditions of people with disabilities in Masvingo.
“I am delighted that church members understand the importance of disability and the need to play a part towards improving understanding by people in the wider community.
“Our premises have been made available to DACT and I am glad because I will also make use of this opportunity to learn Sign Language. It is an opportunity that I greatly value as it will increase my ability to communicate with more sections of the population,” said Mutimwii.
On Friday, September 25, the group will march from Benjamin Burombo past the High Court and along the road to Harare, before ending the march at the turn-off to Bulawayo.