Myths about deaf people were dismissed as not only stupid but unproven and implausible during a Deaf Awareness Week event at the Noluthando School for the Deaf.
Audiologist Kesley Fourie said the deaf can speak, lip-read and do most things that other people can. September marks Deaf Awareness Month.
Speaking on Friday September 1, Ms Kelsey said there’s been a lot of talk lately about the life of deaf people.
She called on society to support them and work with them.
“There is nothing that suggests that they cannot talk or lip-read. They can do everything that abled people can do. In South Africa they go to school and drive cars,” she said.
The school said the aim was to educate communities about the many issues and misconceptions the deaf community face every day.
School principal Ayanda Ncinane said he was delighted that community members attended the event to be part of deaf people’s culture.
“This is great for us as the school. We organised this event to educate the community and to increase awareness about deaf culture. We want to educate the community about a lot of issues and the misconceptions that go with such issues. We also urge and encourage community members to learn South African sign language,” he said.
Mr Ncinane called on people to attend free classes that happen on Saturday at the school. He said the classes could help a lot of people.
“Knowing the language is advantageous to all sides. That means people are able to communicate in a proper way with deaf people and know the culture. That is why we have these free classes,” he said.
Deborah Gwicana was happy that awareness was being raised about deaf culture. Ms Gwicana applauded those who attended the event and the country for recognising deaf culture.
“It is good that people are starting to know the deaf culture. We are a community that has a unique culture that we need to be understood,” she said.