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Lack of sign language interpreters slows nomination for deaf people in Uganda

Sign language training

In Uganda, people with hearing disabilities fail to communicate effectively because of a lack of sign language interpreters at the Kampala nomination center.

They are requested to write down to know what they are saying, which is slowing the process. This is observed at various nomination centers in Kampala, where there are no sign language interpreters to help attend persons with hearing disabilities, the Eagle reported.

Persons with disabilities are part of Special interest groups (SIGs) going through the process of nomination at various electoral commission division/district offices in the country.

Whereas persons with various disability conditions encounter challenges in the process like inaccessibility to the offices and voter’s information, it is more challenging to deaf persons due to a lack of interpreters. The reporter observed no sign language interpreters, yet they expected the blind to appear for nominations.

A source at Kampala central EC offices on anonymity says that they are also going through the same challenge. It takes them an hour to nominate a deaf person, and they had already received three blind persons so far.

According to the Commissioner, Disability, and Elderly-Ministry of Gender, Labour, and Social Development Emilly Ajiambo, few sign language interpreters in Uganda are hard to have them at the division level.

Ajiambo says that even those few available are always engaged, adding that it is also difficult to hire them daily or as permanent employees. She notes that it costs between shillings 100,000 and shillings 150,000.

Uganda will be commemorating the international deaf awareness week this Friday in Masaka, which Mbulamwana says. The goal will be to create awareness about deafness and deaf persons to promote inclusion of deaf persons in their communities hence providing access to services offered there.

“We also expect this to increase solidarity among deaf persons and stimulate efforts to promote their human rights,” he notes.

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