WUA breaks new ground

HARARE - The Women’s University in Africa (WUA) has broken new ground by enrolling four young women who are deaf to study for a Diploma in Social Work. They have two interpreters and a note taker to support their studies.

Although there is a clear need for social workers able to relate with deafness, Zimbabwe does not have deaf social workers or those who can use sign language because people with hearing impairment have been excluded from access to higher education in Zimbabwe.

There have not been adequate efforts to enrol deaf people in higher education with deaf “O” Level graduates being relegated to petty vending.

Zimbabwe does not have a deliberate policy for inclusion of people with disabilities while a number of persons with disabilities have reported unpleasant experiences such as rejection, discrimination and lack of appropriate accommodation in institutions of higher learning.

The acceptance of deaf students by WUA provides a window of hope for those living with hearing impairment in Zimbabwe.

Access to higher education for the deaf community creates role models for children with similar impairments thus encouraging investment in their education while more persons with disabilities will join professional fields, creating a truly inclusive country that appreciates and understands diversity.

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