We need sign language interpreters in Churches – Deaf Community

Persons with hearing impairment in the New Juaben Municipality of the Eastern Region have scolded churches for failure to factor sign language interpretation into communication medium in the Churches.

The Deaf feel neglected and deprived of spiritual growth as many with desire to attend Churches are unable to decipher whatever transpires in Church due to absence of interpreters.

The situation has compelled many of the deaf to stay home without attending Churches, a deprive to their spiritual needs.

Most Churches in the New Juaben Municipality Churches do not have sign language interpreters creating huge communication barrier driving away the deaf from accessing the word of God to nature their spiritual life.

Ultimate News’ Eastern Regional Correspondent, Kojo Ansah checks at the Koforidua School for the deaf revealed that most of the pupils do not go to church whenever they go on vacation.

This is also evidenced by the fact that most of the deaf students have not been baptized by immersion.

The deaf pupils though cognizant of existence of God and believe in Jesus Christ as the Saviour, through teachings on campus, they feel left out by the larger Church in society.

The Headmaster of Koforidua School for the deaf, Jonas Agbona, told Ultimate News, societal neglect and stigmatization against the deaf is a challenge to their successful integration to society after school.

He said the absence of interpreters in Churches and other key government institutions is a worry to persons with hearing impairment.

“What we have realized is that a larger percentage of society doesn’t want to associate with the deaf and the Church is included, sometimes even among our Sister schools, they stigmatize them. It is a challenge, societal attitude towards the disabled is very appalling, we have the deaf, we have the blind and we have the mentally challenged and we have the physically challenged, you realized that society just shuns their company, it is a challenge to us,” he bemoaned.

The Headmaster said the School for the deaf is always ready to partner churches and institutions to train their members in sign language.

“Our teachers are always read, all our teachers have ideas on sign language, we have interpreters who visit the Churches in town to do interpretation so that they will be part of the larger society, after all, they are human and after school, they would have to integrate so we send our teachers to the Churches as and when they demand.

We also wish to ask the churches to release maybe whoever wants to learn sign language to come on board and then our teachers will take them through sign language classes so that they can reach out to the deaf. It is not our duty to impress on the Churches to introduce sign language interpreters,’ he suggested.
Source: ultimatefmonline.com

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