In a world that thrives on spoken communication, it’s easy to overlook the expressive language that bridges gaps and fosters connections within a unique community – the world of sign languages.
On this International Day of Sign Languages, let’s pause and celebrate the richness of sign languages and the strides made towards a more inclusive society.
By embracing the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4 – Quality Education – we can unlock the potential of individuals by ensuring accessible education, inclusive curricula, and teacher training for the deaf community.
In addition, SDG 10 (Reduced Inequalities) promotes creating a world where everyone thrives, and anti-discrimination laws, accessible information, and employment opportunities are encouraged.
RYTHM Foundation’s initiatives closely align with these SDGs, alongside several other guiding objectives we have embraced. They are the compass directing our projects and programmes, shaping our strategic roadmap for the profound impact we aim to achieve.
Our initiatives are meticulously crafted to embrace a comprehensive approach to education and skills training, with a strong commitment to inclusivity for persons with disabilities. For the deaf or hard of hearing, this dedication manifests in various ways.
Empowerment Through Sports
Sports intervention programmes are powerful for fostering physical fitness, teamwork, and personal growth. Whether supporting underprivileged youth or promoting inclusivity for persons with disabilities, they transcend boundaries and inspire positive change.
In addition, ANOPA’s initiatives extend beyond education to encompass support programmes for vocational training, specifically designed to empower individuals with disabilities to achieve financial and personal independence:
In Sri Lanka, persons with hearing disabilities or impairments have endured a longstanding history of marginalisation, with full public participation opportunities routinely denied. This systemic exclusion is rooted in misconceptions and stereotypes within the broader population.
RYTHM’s collaboration with the Women’s Development Centre aims to substantially impact this community. We challenge prevailing misconceptions and stereotypes, champion equal opportunities, and execute initiatives that empower individuals with disabilities to actively engage in public life, flourish, and make significant contributions to society:
Impact Through Outreach
RYTHM’s Gift of Life programme celebrates life in a meaningful way by making a positive impact on individuals and communities in need. We do this by identifying deserving causes and recommending them as beneficiaries of the initiative.
This programme not only disburses funds but also monitors progress, ensuring we make a tangible difference, as exemplified by the story of this Malaysian teen:
Taking Collective Action
The empowerment of the deaf and hard-of-hearing community, the fight against discrimination, and the pursuit of accessible education are not isolated endeavours. They are part of a more significant movement towards a world where everyone has the opportunity to thrive. Our collective actions hold the key to a more inclusive and equitable world.
Take a moment to connect with the deaf community, learn a few signs, or simply spread awareness about the importance of sign languages. Together, we can bridge gaps, foster connections, and build a more inclusive world where every voice, spoken or signed, is heard and valued.