A colleague helping Deaf students to interpret what is being communicated. Photo by Ronard Shabomwe.

Deaf students who attended the 17th Kyambogo University graduation ceremony have struggled to listen to communications for a failure of the university to provide sign language interpreters.

The university invited two students with special needs, who are representing other special students with special needs in the university. Most of these students are from the Faculty of Special Needs and Rehabilitation. Other Deaf students are among the best performing students, who have been invited to attend physically.

This website observes that a group of over 10 deaf students, were left behind after finding that the university invited them knowing that they do not hear and they have not hired sign language interpreters.

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Allan Adeke, one of the affected students, said that this was a bad experience because they have lost more vital information on their graduation ceremony day. Adeke a graduand of Diploma in special needs education adds that if it was not their colleagues who realized it later and helped them, they would have missed everything from the beginning to the end.

“Staff knows that graduands with hearing impairment would attend the physical graduation but they leave us behind, whom we don’t have, fluent sign language interpreters” Adeke adds.

Our reporter noticed that Adeke was trying to request the ushers to notify the authorities that they were not getting anything being communicated.

Scovia Nalumansi, another deaf student, graduating with a Bachelor Degree in Economics with Education expressed her disappointment and said that if the university was not prepared for them, they should have invited them.

Deaf students were later helped by their hearing colleagues who know sign language. Jackson Buyinza a colleague said that this was not a good gesture for an institution like Kyambogo, which has a faculty handling students with special needs.

Alex Twinamatsiko another colleague who helped in interpreter for them said that this was unfortunate, but he thinks the management didn’t mean to fail them but forget about them.

He adds, “This University has always had students with special needs on their hearts, but I think this was not intentional. It is not the habit of Kyambogo University.”

The graduand of Masters in Special Needs Education calls upon all the university Departments always to present the nature of the disability of their students before graduation.

Our reporter contacted Reuben Twinomujuni, the senior Public Relations Officer of the University, to why they failed to get a sign language interpreter but did not get any reply. Kyambogo University is famous for special needs education, which is taught in the Faculty of Special Needs and Rehabilitation.

Kyambogo University invited over 110 people to attend the 17th graduation ceremony physically which started on Tuesday 21st and is ending on Thursday 23rd, and among these are some students with different disabilities. The most affected students have been those with hearing impairments.