The Palestine Technical College has launched a new project, “Education for All”, to support and integrate women and girls with disabilities, particularly deaf and hard-of-hearing women and girls in Gaza.
There are about 93,000 persons with disabilities in Palestine, persons with disabilities in Palestine constitute 2.1% of the total population, 48% in the West Bank and 52% in the Gaza Strip, according to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS). 20% of persons with disabilities in Palestine are children under 18.
The Project coordinator Aisha Al-Kurd said, “The European Union funds the project to integrate girls and women with visual impairment into higher education and develop their skills. The persons with visual impairment in the Gaza Strip cannot access high school.”
Aisha Al-Kurd added that they work co-ordinately with the Palestine Technical University- Kadoorie in the northern West Bank and other universities in Jordan and European countries to generalise the experience of integrating hard-of-hearing people with other people in one class.
Aisha Al-Kurd stated that the project would last three years, “Many students with disabilities outperform others in performing tasks and interacting during the lecture.
Samah El-Helou, who teaches sign language to hearing-impaired students, told us that they first gave a course to workers in several college departments to teach them sign language before implementing the project. She explained that sign language is like other languages that need to be studied to memorise symbols, signs and words.
Halima Hamida is one of the hearing-impaired students participating in the project. She told us that for the first time in the Gaza Strip, she found an activity that included girls with disabilities. She wants to be a sign language translator and teaches sign language to other hearing-impaired girls so they can overcome their obstacles. She dreams of developing her own project to achieve economic independence.
Shiraz Ahmed is another girl participating in the project. She told us that the project allows her to learn many things, such as computers and languages.