Thursday, 01 March 2007

Suggestions for KNAD

Mzee Bubu got that suggestion from someone...


Suggestions for the Kenyan National Association of the Deaf

The amount of work KNAD is expected to do for the Deaf Community seems almost overwhelming, considering the high level of discrimination toward Deaf people face in Kenya and the many needs that they have. Also overwhelming is the vast amount of work that must be done in so many areas (legislation, health, education, job training, and employment).

The participants in this study, through their responses, give us an idea of where to begin. Over half of the respondents (42) believed that the major barrier that prevents the Deaf community from advancing in society and which has prevented them from receiving appropriate assistance from organizations is their own lack of a quality education to advocate for themselves. There is no accurate data to estimate the number of deaf children who have attended school or have graduated from educational programs. Yet, even those deaf adults who did attend school believe their education was unequal to that of the hearing students’, and of such low quality that they can not advance in society. When asked what program or service believed to most important to establish in order to overcome all of the barriers and challenges in society that they lived in, overwhelmingly, the highest number of responses indicated the Deaf community believed a quality education was necessary to advance in society.

Initially then, the education of deaf children seems where the work should begin. As mentioned earlier, it is imperative that organizations striving to improve the lives of deaf people, work alongside and with deaf people. The Kenyan National Association would be the organization which represents the interests of the deaf. Yet, KNAD is struggling to be an effective organization. Therefore, the researchers believe there should be an initial focus on making KNAD the representative voice of the Deaf community where educators, organizations, legislators, and members of the deaf community can come for guidance and information.

KNAD should:

• Request funding for leadership training which teaches deaf leaders from throughout Kenya which would teach skills in how to run an organization (this may include reviewing and revising their constitution), how to apply for large grants, how to run programs and projects, how to advocate for themselves at the national and local level, and information on national and international policies, laws, and standards concerning people with disabilities.

• Not concentrate all of its power only in the head office in Nairobi, but share resources and responsibilities to the fifteen affiliate branches.

• Should have more roles in management of Kenya Sign Language research project at Nairobi University instead of leaving it in the hands of hearing who has little interest and hardly do research or update Kenya sign Language. There is need to filled up the research project with Deaf Linguistic specialists and open it up programs to train professional interpreters

• Collaborate with other governmental and non-governmental organizations working with or for people with disabilities in Kenya.

Economic development (job training) so KNAD is self-sustainable. Collaborate with other organizations in effort to improve Deaf community. Have a working partner that fund sustainable projects which it oversees. Work with schools by offering leadership workshops, sending successful deaf people to interact with Deaf kids so as to be their role model. Create Scholarships programs for the deaf students in school and help teachers with the history of the deaf and Deaf culture.