Wonderful to see the site up and working. I have just been further convinced of the power of networking after a visit from Esther and Stephen Suti from the Solomon Islands. They are parents of a deaf child and are actively searching for partners that they might be able to establish a link with to help them make informed decisions about creating support for children who are deaf and their families. They were really excited to learn about EENET Pasifika and will hopefully contribute their story here.
Great to see we are up and running! Looking forward to reading more stories!
Speech for the Launch of International Week of the Deaf
Today marks the launch of International week of the Deaf with a theme of Equality for deaf people. I would like us to take a moment to think just what this means for a person who is deaf. What is equality for a person who is deaf? Perhaps to begin to understand this we can ask ourselves if we were deaf what would we miss, what would be different in our lives ?
For a person who is deaf she may miss her mother father brother or sisters voices. The voices that teach her a language, a language that allows her to learn about the world, a language that allows to learn to read and write and be included in school, a language that allows her to make friends and later find a good husband, a language that later allows her to contribute to decisions made in her family, a language that allows her even later to get a job and earn an income.
Ladies and gentleman if we are to leave a Godly legacy and see Samoa Deaf people experience these things I have just mentioned we must recognise the pulse of a deaf person’s equality is in accessing language. For many deaf people this is sign language , a beautiful visual language in its own right that can open the doors of opportunity and allow a dark isolated world to transform and realize the great God given potential that lies within each person who is deaf .
Many of you here today have done just that, if you are a parent or a family member of a young person who is deaf and you have learnt sign language and your child is attending school and learning to read and write .. We applaud you
If you are a principal of a school and you are part of a growing number of schools who include students who are deaf …. Please know you are a pioneer, a key agent of change and we applaud you.
If you are a student who attends a school and you have a friend who is deaf and you have learnt sign language please know that your parents never had such a great opportunity , you too are a pioneer and we applaud you.
If you are a employer and have committed resources to allow opportunities for deaf people to be employed or earn an income, then you are apart of a new generation.. and we applaud you .
If you are a decision maker in a government or non government organizations and you have a plan that supports the rights of deaf people then you have a key role to ensuring not one or two things change but a whole nation moves forward in a systematic way like never before to realize equality for people who are deaf..we applaud you .
Ladies and gentleman for equality for deaf people to become true its us who need to step up, its us who need to change and its us who need to become an important part of this movement . We know we can do this cause we have already started. Please enjoy the showcase today which demonstrates young Samoan deaf people who are experiencing equality in their homes, schools , work places and communities. I hope it leaves you inspired to do even more.
Happy International Week of the Deaf! Soifua.
Authors are invited to share their success stories, experiences and challenges towards supporting inclusive education worldwide.