Profile Source: Anonymous
Introduction / History
A Deaf person living in Kenya is not recognized as someone who has a complete and rich language. Nor as someone who belongs to a unique cultural group. But rather, this Deaf person is perceived to lack the mental capability to speak or to hear, at best the Deaf persons inability to hear is seen as a pathological problem and so much time, effort and resources are spent on speech therapy for deaf students in the schools for the Deaf with the goal of "making Deaf people speak."
This being Kenyans' perception about Deaf people, their economic, educational and social standing among the general population is one of the lowest.
Deaf people in Kenya, as is true for Deaf people everywhere, place high value on community. Being together in fellowship is a high cultural value for them. Transparency in all situations is paramount within the culture for complete understanding and acceptance by Deaf People. By virtue of being deaf, Deaf people take in most of their information visually. Visuals of any kind used in any situation is appreciated and valued by Deaf people.
Not any part of Scripture has been translated using Kenya Sign Language up to date. There are no films or videos in KSL with a Christian message available. Many schools for the Deaf in Keuya were begun by missionaries or church societies. Unfortunately, the Gospel was not communicated to the Deaf students in their heart language, KSL, so that there is little clear understanding of the Good News of Jesus Christ by the Deaf today.
Kenyan Deaf live within the same environment as hearing Kenyans. Their daily lives, employment and surroundings do not differ from the majority of Kenyans who live below the poverty line. The difference is that Deaf people are not recognized or respected for who they are as people by the majority. The need is obvious and the opportunity is now to bring the message of the Bible to the Deaf of Kenya.