I decided to learn sign language when I met a personable young man who is hard of hearing at Circle, Tiptoe Lane on my birthday.
Barely 15 minutes after we were introduced to each other by my friend, this man offered to pay my ‘lorry fare’ when we boarded the same bus heading to Awoshie.
I needed to show appreciation in a way that conveyed exactly how I felt about his kind gesture.
I google searched and discovered some resources both text and video on how to say ‘thank you’ in sign language.
I practiced it in seconds so as not to miss him when he gets to his destination. He got down and I ‘sign-thanked’ him.
He gestured in a way that seems to say, ‘you’re welcome’
I felt happy and relieved (I didn’t take someone’s appreciation to eat) *read in Twi*
After that encounter, the importance of learning sign language dawned on me. What if I didn’t have data that day?
The Ghana National Association of the Deaf is proposing sign language studies be mandatory in schools for seamless communication between the hearing impaired and others.
I believe it’s a good move and should be consider and as Linda Adwoa Adomako posits, ‘Aside the opportunities that we will get from learning sign language, personally I feel it is discriminatory against the people with hearing and speech disorder.
How do they communicate with others on the street?
By Pamela Ofori-Boateng