The Vice President of the Sierra Leone Association for the Deaf Alhaji Mohamed Rahman has pleaded with government to put procedures in place that would fully incorporate them so that they too can benefit from opportunities available at the Ministry of Education, Youths and Sports.
Giving a rundown of their association, he explained that, they have a membership of 483 with only two schools in Freetown and Makeni. He complained that the schools are grossly under staffed, besides they lack learning and teaching materials. He added that they are in high demand of trained and qualified teachers who could teach with signs or demonstration in those schools.
He confirmed that most of them are engaged in tailoring, masonry, carpentry and other categories of odd jobs for survival. He also requested government to assist them with ‘hearing aid and computers’. “Most of us are not gainfully employed to even maintain a family” he said.
He said that the schools are restricted to lower level and that they would want to establish both secondary school and college where they could develop their capacity so as to qualify them to compete for better employment. He therefore pleaded with the Ministry of Education to turn attention to them.
Unlike the other category of disabled who are opportune to participate in international competition abroad he further explained, that they have a football team but they have never been considered for international competition.
Melrose Cotay the Executive Director of Initiative For Changing Lives For Ultimate Disability Empowerment (INCLUDE), said the situation of people with disability in Sierra Leone is pathetic but close collaboration with government and donors on disability issues would go a long way in bringing hope to them. She concluded that, she is contemplating on possible means of attracting donors to their plight.