Conversations With the DeafBy Abouissa, Mona; Egypt Today - The Magazine of Egypt, Vol. 28, No. 12
Publication Date: December 2007
Article discusses the limited assistive technologies and services available to deaf and hearing impaired citizens in Egypt. (1) The Deaf Club, the only one of its kind in Egypt, was established in Cairo in response to abusive treatment of people with hearing disabilities in neighborhood coffee shops. The two-room club provides a space for its members to watch television, play dominoes, and converse in sign language. (2) The Egyptian Society for the Rehabilitation for the Deaf (ESRD), originally founded as a governmental workhouse for girls, provides training, vocational certification, and other services for the deaf at branches throughout Egypt. Technology used at ESRD includes a system of SUVAG CT 10 amplifiers used to teach young children to feel sound vibrations generated from speech and delivered via headphones. A vocational ESRD program described places its graduates in a Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant which hires hearing-impaired workers exclusively and provides a month of training, health insurance, and bonuses. However, the article points out that despite such initiatives and a labor law that requires companies employing 50 workers or more to hire people with disabilities, the deaf and hard of hearing population, estimated at 90,950, is underserved, as evidenced by statistics showing that 70 percent of deaf women and 60 percent of deaf men in Egypt are illiterate.
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