13% deaf in Samoa celebrate International week for deaf

Promoting sign language

By Aiga Tofilau

APIA: MONDAY 24th SEPTEMBER, 2012:  13% of deaf people in Samoa are celebrating their International Week.

According to the Senese Director, Donna Lene, this is the first time for Samoa to celebrate this special week for the deaf people, of which the Samoan  people will learn sign language for deaf people.

“This week is a time for parents, sisters and brothers that they proud of their sons and daughters who are deaf and tell them how much we love them and show them how much we care by learning to communicate by sign language,” said Donna Lene.

The Minister of Women Community & Social Development, Tolofuaivalelei Falemoe Leiataua, said this is the special for the deaf people, who must also be allowed to be able to work and help their families.

“For the deaf children who study together with normal children, school is very important in your life as is the key of all the Government’s drive to  ensure a better future.”

The Minister also stated that the Samoan Government will sigm the United Nations Convention on the rights of people with disabilities. “So that there will be no discrimination against people with disabilities,” he said.

The Senese Director also stated about 300 deaf people are found in Samoa and 20 of them are employed in the Government Ministries and other
organisations. “It tells us that the deaf people or those who are hard of hearing can also work and have full time jobs to support their families,” said Donna Lene.

She said that the will try this week for the news to be interpreted in sign language so the deaf can tell their stories on TV.

“Lets make a brighter future, a future where everyone has the opportunity to learn, to love to express themselves to feel valued and a part of a family a part of church, a part of the village and a part of a proud nation, Samoa.”

The deaf ended the opening event by lining up outside and spelled the word Samoa using sign language with the message that sign language is important in the country and should be used always.

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One Comment

  1. Sua Elaine Sautia

    Congratulations to the Deaf community in Samoa “about time” that they were recognised as a community that can contribute to our country. In 2003 I came over with a couple of Deaf people and we trained and travelled around samoa to promote that “Deaf people Can” so great work Donna Lene and the Deaf community in “voicing/Signing” that regardless of where we come from we are people that can do anything we just do it differently.