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Parents of Deaf Children Appeal for Special Education Needs

Parents of Deaf Children Appeal for Special Education Needs

Parents of deaf children launched a Community Based Organization yesterday to advocate for their children’s rights, including education and health care.

Pamoja Parents for Deaf CBO was launched at Ziwani School in Mombasa County for the Deaf by Mvita MP Abdulswamad Nassir, who led a procession from Tononoka to Jomo Kenyatta Avenue and Nyali Road.

CBO members urged the national government to consider building a secondary school to meet their children’s post-primary educational needs.

They claim that the county’s lack of a fully-fledged public secondary school to educate students with hearing impairment has forced them to transport their children long distances despite their children’s critical need for close parental care.

Daniel Anyazwa and Stella Habela, who have four children with hearing impairments, said sending their children to far-flung schools has financial implications despite their poverty.

“The nearest schools that cater for our children are in Kilifi and Kwale counties which also have their own challenges including accommodation. We had to dig deep into our pockets to take them upcountry,” said Habela.

The couple, who live in the Kwabulo area of the Nyali constituency and have three sons aged 25, 24, and 8, as well as a 13-year-old daughter, said that financial constraints hampered their efforts to educate their children.

“The two elder boys are studying plumbing and tailoring at Sikri Technical and Vocational College for the Blind and Deaf in Kisii County, while the rest at Ziwani School for the Deaf here in Mombasa. We are doing manual jobs to educate them. The local CDFs have overlooked learners in these institutions,” added Anyazwa.

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Mildred Sigunda and Florence Kasichana, both mothers with hearing-impaired children, shared similar experiences.

Mildred, a mother of three children, including one with physical disabilities and one who is deaf, pleaded with the national government and the local county government to provide incentives to support their children’s education.

“Our children deserve education and medical incentives like any other Kenyan children. We need properly equipped special public primary and secondary schools that cater to the education needs of our children,” added Mildred.

Kasichana, a Kisauni resident and mother of a deaf child, said the lack of sign language interpreters in public hospitals was a major challenge for Mombasa’s deaf community.

She urged the county government to consider hiring trained interpreters to assist medical staff in attending to and diagnosing the illnesses of deaf patients visiting public facilities.

“My adult son has been turned away several times because of communication breakdown and unless I accompany him, he will not be properly attended to,” added Kasichana.

Abdulswamad promised to help the deaf community and other members of society with disabilities.

He also assured the community that he would collaborate with other stakeholders to find solutions to some of the current challenges they face in providing health and education for their children.


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“I will continue to support you, especially through skills such as tailoring, welding, and masonry that would enable you to start income-generating activities,” he added.

According to statistics, there are 200,000 deaf children who receive only about 10% of their education.

There are 120 schools in the country, including 23 secondary schools for deaf students.

Parents of Deaf Children Appeal for Special Education Needs

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