Deaf Youth Board Member Zoe Ferguson is advocating for more awareness surrounding the deaf youth experience. Photo/ Supplied
Deaf youth and families invited to participate in a webinar on challenges faced by young people in the deaf community.
By Sia Talafou
Families of deaf youth will be gathering to discuss the struggles and barriers hard of hearing and deaf children face growing up in New Zealand.
The webinar being held on 29 September will be a panel discussion for both parents of deaf children and anyone who may want to know what it is like for deaf children trying to fit into society.
Deaf Youth Board member Zoe Ferguson is one of four members on the board who advocate for greater inclusivity for deaf youth.
Ferguson told Pacific Mornings that there are many hardships the hard of hearing and deaf community face particularly around education and finding employment.
“There’s challenges to find a job because there’s [an] expectation of what deaf people can achieve in those areas … a lot of deaf people apply for work and they don’t get those jobs.”
Ferguson says tertiary providers and employers need to have a greater awareness of what the deaf experience is like.
“If a deaf person has the same qualification … I am deaf but I can still communicate, I can still do the job the same as anyone else and I can match that job description and do the work.”
Ferguson says she is optimistic the online webinar will bring more awareness to the deaf community’s struggles and help counter these challenges to make an impact for the future.
Regarding statistics surrounding the deaf Pacific communities, Ferguson says this is an issue as there is currently no research. However, Pacific youth are encouraged to join the webinar to connect with other deaf youth and join a community.
What the full interview below or head to 531pi's Facebook page for more.
*Sia Talafou is working for PMN as part of an AUT journalism internship.