Parents’ involvement in success and reassurance during challenges.
It was an exchange of laughter mixed with blissful smiles at the YMCA on 18th July 2019 when Kenya Association of Parents of the Deaf organized a luncheon for the deaf community and their parents to celebrate the exemplary performance by Ms. Catherine Ngovi and Mr. Wilson Obange after performing astonishingly well in the International Deaf Pageantry held in St Petersburg Russia earlier this month.
The event served the purpose of encouraging parents raising deaf children to support them and allow them explore all the world has to offer.
Speakers of the day stressed on the issue of helping deaf children nature their talents and providing full support in order to unlock their potential as most of them have extraordinary talents. They also called upon the government to set up programs to teach every citizen sign language so that the deaf children can go anywhere they wish in confidence without having to carry along an interpreter.
The Chairman of Kenya Association of Parents of the Deaf Mr. Geoffrey Wathigo gave a brief history of how the organization has fought for the rights of persons with disabilities especially on matters of equal inclusion regardless of their disabilities. He further mentioned their efforts to ensure learning institutions incorporate sign language as part of the courses instruction methods to allow deaf children explore various career options.
Job opportunities and Sign Language.
“At least we now have three secondary schools and one college in Karen offering sign language as compared to before when deaf children could only get vocational training; including carpentry for deaf boys and catering for deaf girls.” Added Mr. Wathigo
The Chairperson called upon the government and employers to stop discriminating deaf people when it comes to employment. “Our deaf children are just as qualified to compete in the job market as other children, therefore employers should treat them as equals and avail these job opportunities for them.” He said.
The parents observed that all the children deserve equal treatment and they are special in their own unique and different ways.
“Having been born with disabilities does not make our children lesser in the society” they said.
To have these children exploring their talents and proving to the world they match other children without disabilities; parents should be steadfast in building a strong support team for their children.
Support from parents help children with disabilities achieve exemplary performances. The performance from Russia evidenced that proper support as was done by Mr. and Mrs. Ngovi will take children with disabilities to the next level.