This peace of writing is a citation of my graduate thesis in Linguistics submitted to Sudan University of Science and Technology in 2015. As an activist and disability rights advocate, I am trying to make a reform in the way that the Sudanese community look at people with disabilities and in particular Deaf community.
For quite long time People with Special Needs (PWSN), generally, have been neglected and in particular sign language of Deaf community. The focus of this study is on the avoidance of learning sign language of Deaf community by hearing community. However, this research tries to show how negligence of Deaf community sign language is present in Sudan. Also,it explores to what extent neglecting Deaf community in terms of knowing their sign language lead to the exclusion of hearing community by Deaf people who consider them as outsiders. It is of no doubt, of course, that majority of the Sudanese community does not know how to communicate with Deaf persons. Some people would use writing to send out and receive their message from a Deaf person. This situation, though, would only workout with literate Deaf community members. Others would find it difficult to share what they want to say since either they are illiterate or the Deaf person him/herself is illiterate. The only means of communication remain here is the sign language. According to my experience as a child being raised up with an elder Deaf brother, many people, including the family members of the Deaf persons, fail to communicate with Deaf community. This might seem alright with other individuals rather than parents and close family members of individuals belong to the Deaf community. As experienced, too, family members turn out to neglect a Deaf person sign language. I consider this family negligence is the main core factor, among others, that lead Deaf community to exclude the hearing people with no exception to other community members. The hearing community may think this is an extra effort by using all parts of the body to describe and reflect what they want to address or say. Therefore,they consider communication with a Deaf person is not valuable as much as talking to a hearing fellow. The community might consider it very much like an adult talking to a child. However, my research, based on this concept of hearing people, has proved the reaction of Deaf community is always negative. Meanwhile, it has provided good suggestions and recommendations that will contribute in learning sign language of Deaf community.
It was not by coincident that I am serving today with Community Options,Inc in the United States and end up in supporting people with disabilities. This is happening because I truly believe in supporting people with disabilities regardless of their disability. With no exception to Deaf community in the United States, I will continue advocating the rights of people with disabilities.