The 50th anniversary of the Society for the Welfare of the Deaf (SWD) was celebrated this yesterday at the Jomadar Centre for Hearing Impaired in Beau Bassin, in the presence of the Vice-Prime Minister, Minister of Local Government and Outer Islands, Mrs Fazila Jeewa-Daureeawoo, the Minister of Education and Human Resources, Tertiary Education and Scientific Research, Mrs Leela Devi Dookun-Luchoomun, the Ambassador of the Delegation of the European Union (EU) to the Republic of Mauritius and to the Republic of Seychelles, Mrs Marjaana Sall, and other personalities.
In her address, the Vice-Prime Minister highlighted that one of Government's priorities is to create an inclusive society upholding the rights of persons with disabilities and to ensure that all citizens are given the deserved opportunities to develop their potential. She recalled that one measure taken by Government in favour of persons with disabilities was to increase the invalidity pension to Rs 5 810 in January 2018.
Vice-Prime Minister Jeewa-Daureeawoo underscored that Mauritius has always prided itself for being a welfare State where persons with disabilities have always occupied a significant place in the policies of Government. She observed that the country is also proud to have ratified the United Nations Convention on the rights of persons with disabilities and commended the EU for its collaboration and support so as to uplift and improve the life of the Mauritian people.
For her part, Minister Dookun-Luchoomun commended the core of management and staff of the SWD who have, over the years, set an exemplary footprint for the hearing impaired community. She reassured her Ministry's support to the SWD and recalled that several measures have been taken by the Ministry to uplift the education as well as the well-being of children and youth with special education needs.
The Education Minister also announced that a Special Education Needs Authority will be set up by her Ministry in view of providing support to schools and non-governmental organisations working for the benefit of children with impairment.
Ambassador Sall emphasised that the EU has committed itself to support the SWD over the past decade. This support, she added, has helped the Society to achieve four main results. They are: an improvement in access to secondary school and establishment of school curriculum which is better focussed on the needs of deaf and hearing impaired; the training of teachers in deaf education; an increase in the employability of hearing impaired and deaf youth in several sectors; and the acquisition of bilingual competence in sign language.
Society for the Welfare of the Deaf
The SWD was set up in July 1968. Its role was to cater for the well-being of deaf persons and is managed by volunteers. Facilities currently offered by the SWD range from parental guidance, pre-primary, primary and pre-vocational classes, audiology and hearing aids to speech therapy, sign language classes and ear mould making, among others.