September – Deaf Awareness Month

By Alaso Academy

The Deaf community always suffers a lot in their day-to-day lives and mostly this is because the community they live within does not understand who the Deaf really are. Awareness can be defined as knowledge or perception of a situation or fact or concern about and well-informed interest in a particular situation or development. this is what the community lacks, not just in Zimbabwe but across the globe. It is the role of every individual, every institution and every agency to make sure that the world understands what being Deaf entails and how the world must function with them. Communities are incomplete without the Deaf.

There are many misconcerptions and myths sorrounding deafness and Sign language. These have existed for a very long time and the time is now to demystify the world of these. In as much as this process should not only be limited to the month of September, September has been set aside to make sure that the year does not end without raising awareness hopefully to everyone about Deafness.

The deaf culture is rich with so many fascinating fascets and it is a very unique culture.


  1. Sign language is not universal. Why not? Because sign languages develop naturally out in communities, the same way spoken languages do. Sign languages aren’t artificially created, nor are they gifts given to deaf people by hearing ones—they’re fully-realized, complex languages with their own grammars, syntaxes, and vocabularies. 
  2. In Zimbabwe. we use what is referred to as the Zimbabwean Sign Language also referred to as ZSL.
  3. Since signed languages are created by Deaf people, they are not related to the spoken languages that may be used in the same areas. For example, ZSL and South African Sign Language (SASL) are different, even though some people in South Africa and Zimababwe use the same spoken language(s), Xhosa, Ndebele vs Zulu etc. 
  4. When learning sign language, you should always seek out and make use of a Deaf teacher. They will always remain the best.

Signed languages are the heart of Deaf culture and community. Deaf people are the experts on their language, so they should be the ones consulted, and paid, for the work of teaching. Historically, Deaf people have been stigmatized and oppressed by hearing society for their use of sign language, so for hearing teachers to take Deaf jobs and profit from teaching sign is a form of cultural appropriation.

Remeber, you can get in touch with us to learn this beautiful language


  1. I agree with the point of teachers for deaf people should also deaf.Like wise, a deaf teacher can not teach hearing people .Let deaf people teach deaf people.

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