August 2013 was the month in which the first Signal Zambia Teacher Awareness and Communication Training (TACT) sessions took place in the country, run by our partners Zambia Deaf Youth and Women (ZDYW). These sessions were aimed at engaging both teachers of the deaf and teachers in mainstream schools to gain greater understanding and capacity to assist and support deaf children and those with hearing loss to have equitable and appropriate education in school.
37 education professional attended the course and all commented that the training opened their eyes to deafness and greatly improved their understanding of how to help deaf learner in class.
Kirsten, one of the teachers who attended the course said she now knows that, “…I need to be friendly to them (children with a hearing loss) and accept them the way they are as human beings. I also need to know their abilities and inabilities in order to help them; I have also learnt that the Deaf children need to be supported even in their homes. There’s need to invite parents also in our school meeting so that they also participate.”
ZDYW’s Executive Director, Musukwa Frankson, stated, “…education is a basic necessity for all people. Education is recognised as a primary means for gaining independence, citizenship rights, employment, economic power and self-empowerment…” He went on to say that he hoped that Signal training sessions such as these are hopefully the start toward of many new trainings enabling people across the country to be more informed and better able to work with deaf people to become full members of society. With continued support from our supporters Signal will be working to make this true!