Introduction / History
Tanzania Deaf Community has about 324,000 people scattered in 31 regions of a country of 44 million. According to 2005 estimates by the World Health Organization, 278 million people worldwide have moderate to profound hearing loss in both ears. 80% of deaf and hearing-impaired people live in low- and middle-income countries.
In adults, hearing impairment and deafness often make it difficult to obtain, perform, and keep employment. Both children and adults may suffer from social stigmatization and isolation as a result of hearing impairment. Many hearing people tend to think the deaf are not very intelligent because of the communication barriers, as well as the speech patterns deaf exhibit. Many deaf people feel hearing people oppress them and purposely withhold information from them.
Less than 1/2 of 1% are Christians. Hearing Sunday School teachers and pastors, like hearing parents, are not able to communicate truth or their beliefs to deaf children. Many deaf say they learn a lot of the "rules of life" by watching the action on TV or in movies. The deaf value "information" above almost everything. Tanzanians have portions (stories) of a signed language Bible.
The first portions of Tanzania Sign Language Bible on DVD were dedicated on November 19, 2011. One story was chosen and shown on a projector screen. The deaf didn't want to take time to eat, but wanted to see story after story. TBC, the national television station, showed a clip of the dedication on TV for two days. Tanzania Sign Language Bible Society (TSLBS) also have materials and continue to give the Deaf the good news.
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