Associations call for inclusion of hearing-impaired people in Africa

Representatives of hearing-impaired associations from seven African countries are meeting in Namibia’s capital, Windhoek, to discuss challenges faced by the group and call for their inclusion.

Kasper Bergmann, Vice President of the World Federation of the Deaf, said the gathering aims to capacitate the hearing-impaired community and enhance their active participation in good governance.

According to Bergmann, this group of people in many settings face enormous challenges such as exclusion, discrimination, limited access to health services or information as well as limited economic and educational paths.

The meeting will also train representatives and delegates on the global Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development, seeking to ensure that human beings fulfill their potential in dignity and equality.

Beata Armas, chairperson of the Namibian National Association of the Deaf said that the gathering also sought to foster an open dialogue on the mainstreaming of issues and needs of the hearing-impaired into national policies and legislation at the different levels of government.

The eight-day event, attended by representatives from South Africa, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Botswana, and Burundi, is hosted by the World Federation of the Deaf.