As one enters the pre-school classroom at Uganda school for the Deaf, it does not take long to recognize Daniel Opio. In case you escape his imposing structure at a tender age of 6 years and an extreme dark complexion, you get captured by his cheerfulness. He stays with grandmother in Bokoto-Kisaasi, a Kampala suburb.
At an early age, Daniel suffered an acute attack of meningitis that eventually led to his hearing loss. Being their first born child, his parents were depressed on learning that their “treasure” was deaf. Luckily, Daniel had a very a supportive grandmother who had endured right from an early age, to ensure that the boy led a normal life. Her now weakened body aside, she has been selfless in ensuring that Daniel has a bright future like other children regardless of his hearing disabilities. It is this spirit that drove her to enroll his grandson to the school for the Deaf in Ntinda.
Her attempts are gradually paying off. Today, Daniel is making tremendous academic strides, as well as developing social skills, crucial for children his age.
According to his class teacher Ms. Betty, “Daniel has made huge progresses since joining us. Among other achievements, he can now communicate in sign Language; sign Alphabets from A-Z; sign numbers from 0-20 as well as make signs for some pictures on display. He is also very athletic an active both in and out of class. Daniel has a bright future”
However, the teacher was also quick to note a dark side that needs improvement and continued support both at home and school. “Though helpful with his fellow pupils, he can also be naughty and shabby. It doesn’t take Daniel long before dirtying his uniform and tearing up books,” she says adding thus, “his huge appetite is also amazing given his age”.
This shows that the work that Signal Uganda going is going from strength to strength and is having a real impact on people’s lives.
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