Monday, June 05, 2006

310: the deaf extinction

No, not cochlear implants: neglect.
Uganda's deaf face extinction at the hands of HIV/AIDS because the country's health authorities have ignored them in their national strategy to wipe out the killer disease, activists said.
About 90 percent of Uganda's estimated 500,000 hearing impaired men, women and children are illiterate and unable to properly communicate, leaving them ignorant of anti-HIV/AIDS messages and vulnerable to sexual abuse, they said.

"Our community faces extinction as the trend of HIV infection is rising due to lack of information on its prevention, care, treatment and even available services," said Alex Ndezi, the only deaf member of Uganda's parliament.

All praise to Alex Ndezi for standing up for our people. The government has a responsibility to help all its citizens. There is nothing more which needs to be said.

I received a comment from a visitor named Pam who stated that "most people never get a chance to learn about" the Deaf culture and "will live their lives with some pre-conceived ideas. I think it would be helpful, and interesting if the Deaf community was given a chance to really educate the "general public." Yes, Pam, I'd be interested in exchanging more thoughts about the Deafhood questions by e-mail, but why not post them in the comments? Let others weigh in.

More on Deafhood soon - been busy editing all weekend.

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