D15 was born able to hear, but an illness at a young age caused her deafness. She is currently in junior high school, enrolled at a school for the deaf in Koforidua. Below, she explains how she and her family have navigated the impact of her hearing loss.
“I am supported by my family. My parents have been supportive throughout my education. My uncles and aunties have also helped me a lot. I have not been very much involved in my family; because I am young and also because of my inability to hear, my parents did not think about getting me involved. I personally feel that because my parents and family do not know sign language, I do not need to involve myself. Everyone in the family have made me feel accepted. They understand my condition and they love me. Just that they all wish that I can hear again. I feel very much satisfied with family life.”
“I am happy as a deaf person but I want to hear again. I wish that I can speak. Hearing people are more successful and most of the jobs require communication by voice which is impossible for a deaf person to do. I will like to hear again so that I can get a good job to make my parents happy. I am proudly deaf but would like to hear.”
“[S]ometimes I feel isolated because of my deafness. I cannot hear about many things happening around me. And because society does not know and use sign language I cannot always mingle. Besides, some people used to call me with derogatory words such as ‘mumu’ and also insulted me. This made me so sad.”
“[And] because of the inability of disabled people to walk properly and the blind cannot see, they are loved the most and the attention has been on them more than the deaf.”
“I always went to the hospital with my father because there is no interpreter. However, a lot of deaf people still have access to the healthcare. I hope that government will help to employ sign language interpreters in the hospitals.”
“I am still a student and I have access to education presently. In the school the attitude of our teachers is very good. At other times it looks bad[…]. A lot of deaf people have access to education today because there are qualified teachers who are deaf. Deaf teachers are better than hearing teachers because they use sign language which we understood better.”