|04-23-2010, 12:49 AM||#1 (permalink)|
Join Date: Apr 2004
Blog Entries: 3
Job chances for the deaf urged
Gulf Daily News » Local News » Job chances for the deaf urged
A FRESH appeal has gone out to integrate more deaf Bahrainis into society, as the region marks the 35th Arab Deaf Week.
Action is needed to help the hearing impaired complete their university education and land jobs to ensure they can be productive members of the community, said Bahrain Society for the Deaf president Mahdi Al Nuaimi.
Any hopes they have of forging a successful career are being damaged because they are only educated up to elementary level, he added.
"The community needs to involve deaf people more as they are also residents of this country," Mr Al Nuaimi told the GDN.
"At the moment, they are only able to reach elementary school in terms of education and therefore can't find jobs.
"Apart from that, people still view them as disabled - although they are able to do a lot of things."
The 35th Arab Deaf Week commenced on Tuesday and continues until Tuesday under the theme Empowering Deaf Women.
Mr Al Nuaimi revealed no accurate statistics were available to determine the exact number of deaf people in Bahrain.
However, he estimated there were at least 1,000 suffering from hearing impairment in the country, with 200 of those registered with the society.
He said his organisation was conducting regular activities to help integrate those members in the community and hopefully land jobs.
However, 60 of them are still seeking work and are unable to support themselves.
"We are regularly organising courses in different fields, which will hopefully enable members to find jobs," he said.
However, efforts to help young people with hearing problems appear to be paying off - with 99 Cochlear implant operations conducted over the past nine years.
"These were the result of the hard work and the donations of different companies to support this initiative," explained Bahrain Society for Cochlear Implantation and Hearing Impairment president Dr Ahmed Jamal.
"These implants can restore patients' hearing and solve their problem for life."
The society is co-operating with the Health Ministry to implant these hearing devices and Dr Jamal, who is also head of the ministry's cochlear implant surgical team, described Bahrain as a regional pioneer in the field.
He said only Saudi Arabia was conducting more cochlear implant operations, which give back the gift of hearing.
"Ninety-nine implants in nine years is a large number compared to the population," he said.
This is not the first time that authorities have been urged to intervene on behalf of Bahrainis with hearing difficulties.
Parliament second vice-chairman, MP Dr Salah Ali, wrote to Education Minister Dr Majeed Al Alawi in September asking him to find work for unemployed deaf people.
He has also written to senior government officials urging them to improve the lifestyles of deaf people and called on Health Minister Dr Faisal Al Hamer to employ at least one person who knows sign language at each of the country's medical centres.
He also wants sign language to be introduced on local television.
"Walking with a friend in the dark is better than walking alone in the light."
- Helen Keller