By Josiah Akwesi Demuyakor (University of Education, Winneba)
Growing up as children, we all had our dreams and aspirations of what we wished to become in future. Some of us wanted to become doctors, lawyers, teachers, nurses etc. With the support of parents and through former education, most children have been able to achieve their aims.
The deaf child, just as any other child has dreams and aspirations too. Some want to become doctors, engineers, lawyers and so on. With the support of parents, the deaf child ends up in the teaching field or Technical and Vocational institutions. This could be a lack of support from our educational institutions, particularly that of higher education.
The question is, how many tertiary institutions in Ghana have interpreters? Only a few, which limits the deaf student to only teaching, technical and Vocational jobs.
During the girl child week celebration at Ashanti school for the deaf, the children were asked what they would want to become in future and I nearly wept hearing their responses. They had a lot of aspirations but the system and institutions will limit them.
Those who try to defy the odds to achieve their goals have to suffer due to a lack of interpreters and support systems. They are mostly left with no option but to employ their interpreters.
To help solve this problem, I suggest that Sign language should be recognized and drafted into the Constitution, to compel all institutions in Ghana to employ the services of interpreters.
I pray that one day every deaf child will be able to achieve their aspirations in life.