It’s not the end of the road

LEPHALALE — On Youth Day, Saturday 16 June, Sedibeng School in Onverwacht held an information and fun day with the purpose to raise funds.

deaf learners have shown what they are capable of through music performances

The day was characterized by informative talks by various experts in the field of hearing impairment and the deaf learners have shown what they are capable of through music performances.

Dr Cedrick Ngongang, Medical Geneticist and Research Officer of the University of Cape Town’s Division of Human Genetics, explained in an easy and understandable way what some of the many causes of hearing impairments are. He said that hearing impairment treatment involves a multidisciplinary team, hearing aid, cochlear or brainstem implant, speech therapy and genetic counselling in all genetic forms of hearing impairment.

Ms Malebo Malope, an internal genetic counsellor, highlighted the importance of counselling and said it is important to determine what risk cases may be in your family. She said that the screening of new born babies for an early diagnosis allows for early intervention. Genetic counselling is the process of helping people understand and adjust to the medical, psychological and familial implications of genetic contributions to the disease. She said that people who can benefit from genetic counselling are those who have a history of known genetic disorders, birth defects, inherited cancers, intellectual disability, hearing or visual disability and infertility, multiple miscarriages or infant deaths. Six in every 1 000 children in Africa are born with hearing loss, due to a wide range of factors. Genetics cause up to 50% of all cases of hearing loss and Ms Malope said that “we know it affects each person differently, from mild to complete deafness, even in the same family”.

Ms Noluthando Manyisa, a PhD student, also highlighted some insightful facts concerning deafness.

However, the focus of the day wasn’t just about being deaf. Archibald Tsheola, a student from Susan Strijdom School for learning impaired children in Modimolle, who had studied at Lephalale TVET College for six years, already reached great heights as a motorbike builder. He is a true entrepreneur and an inspiration for many people.

The school principal, Mrs Marlene Malepa, closed the proceedings by saying that being deaf or having a learning disability doesn’t mean one cannot live life fully.

“It is not the end of the road – training and knowledge are available to enable these learners to live a full life,” she said.

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