Jalisco’s deaf population is demanding that something be done about their educational lot.
According to activists, 40 percent of hearing-impaired persons in the state are illiterate, a staggering number which is indicative, perhaps, of gross negligence on the part of government towards those living with disabilities.
The central demand of advocates for the deaf, of which 200 were seen marching on Avenida Chapultepec last week to help publicize their cause, is that sign language be more widely taught in schools around the state.
Heading the march was the advocacy group Señas. According to the organization’s president, Ana Guadalupe Herrera, a spate of recent initiatives by the government to improve education for the deaf, although to be lauded, barely address the gravity of the pedagogical shortfall afflicting the deaf community in Jalisco.
“Forty percent of deaf people are illiterate, and the rest are badly educated,” said Guadalupe. “For this we believe bilingual and bicultural education are essential.”
The official estimate by the National Institute of Statistics and Geography puts the state’s deaf population at 75,000. However, the collective believes the number to be closer to 85,000.