By Hattie Hanyerere
Uganda will on September 23 join the rest of the world to commemorate the International Deaf Awareness Week (IDAW) in Kisoro, western Uganda.
The event, to be graced by the Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga, will run up to September 27.
The IDAW is observed annually during the fourth week of September. The purpose of this event is to draw attention to the politicians, authorities and the general public about the achievements and the concerns of the deaf persons and the institutions that represent them.
The theme of this year is: “The power of sign language.” Activities will include debates between schools of the deaf and those of the hearing, football matches, a health camp and public lectures.
The theme re-echoes the government’s recognition of diversity and its efforts to promote the rights of people with disabilities (PWDs). It calls for equality for deaf persons; this means that deaf persons can contribute to Uganda’s prosperity, human rights and also prepare them for future challenges. The power of sign language also celebrates the linguistic, artistic, social, political, cultural contributions and accomplishments of deaf persons.
While addressing the media,Joseph Mbulamwana the Executive Director of Uganda National Association of the Deaf (UNAD) said that the goal of this week is to create awareness about deafness and deaf persons with the aim of promoting inclusion of deaf persons in their communities hence providing access to services offered there. This week also increases solidarity among deaf persons and stimulates efforts to promote their human rights.