May 6, 2024

From April 20 to April 27, 2024, Al Amal School for the Deaf, a branch of Sharjah City for Humanitarian Services (SCHS), observed the 49th Deaf Week, with the theme "Providing suitable job opportunities for men and women with hearing impairment in the public and private sectors." The week's objectives were to increase community understanding of hearing impairments and to draw attention to the services the school offers pupils that comply with worldwide best practices. The week also featured notable role models and stressed the value of education and integrated work in empowering individuals with hearing impairments.

In this regard, the school hosted the Awtar 2 Forum, at which the President of SCHS, Her Excellency Sheikha Jameela bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, affirmed in her introductory remarks that "Al-Amal School and Kindergarten for the Deaf" is the nation's first school serving the deaf and hard of hearing. Since its founding in 1979, the school has embraced bilingualism (speech and sign language) in its instruction of students, keeping up with the most recent advancements in a distinguished learning environment where students, parents, and faculty members all share a sense of mutual trust that is enduring and sustainable.

She added, “Since its founding, SCHS has placed a high value on educating its disabled students and preparing them for social integration, career advancement, and employment that brings stability, empowers them on a social, economic, and psychological level, gives them a decent life, helps them assert their rights, boosts their self-esteem, and benefits from their work experience”.

She said, “Deaf people have always proven their ability to perform many jobs and master professions according to the requirements of the labor market in various institutions. Here we must point out the importance of good education and training, especially since our universities have opened their doors, provided sign language interpreters, and prepared the university environment to grant equal opportunities for learning. We also point out the importance of community awareness in providing job opportunities that suit the capabilities and skills of deaf people, and working to create conditions to provide appropriate jobs, as obtaining work is one of their rights, and society must, with the concerted efforts of its individuals and institutions, protect and preserve these rights.


Sheikha Jameela emphasized that SCHS puts its words into action in addition to urging public and private organizations to embrace a policy of hiring individuals with disabilities and to have faith in their skills and abilities. There are 733 employees at SCHS, and 9% of them are people with disabilities. This figure attests to the high value that SCHS places on employment and giving people the right opportunities to contribute to the development and prosperity of society.

She added, “It is the responsibility of state institutions (governmental and private) to cooperate with the centers and concerned authorities in preparing deaf people and qualifying them professionally for the appropriate job, and to work to provide jobs that suit their qualifications and abilities. They should note that there are many deaf people who have been able to prove their worth in the labor market. They work efficiently in a variety of jobs, emphasizing the role of the media in introducing the talents of deaf people and their ability to participate in the labor market by highlighting these practical skills and raising awareness of their rights”.

Forum topics - the first topic

In the theme of “Audio-Verbal Training for People with Hearing Disabilities,” Dr. Samia Bassiouni, Professor of Speech Pathology (Ear and Nose Department) at the Faculty of Medicine at Ain Shams University, Head of the Auditory and Speech Rehabilitation Team for Cochlear Implants of Children and Adults in the Arab Republic of Egypt, spoke about auditory and linguistic rehabilitation for cochlear implants of children. Then, Professor Dr. Effat Ahmed, Professor and Head of the Speech Pathology Unit at the Faculty of Medicine, Minya University in the Arab Republic of Egypt, discussed the linguistic development and psycholinguistic abilities of children with sensorineural hearing loss with cochlear implants and hearing aids.

Within the same topic, Professor Hanan Mohamed Fayyad, Assistant Professor of Curricula and Methods of Teaching Hearing Impairment - Vice Dean of the College of Special Education for Postgraduate Studies and Research - at Misr University of Science and Technology in the Arab Republic of Egypt, discussed the effectiveness of a program based on sign language in developing children’s linguistic readiness skills of deaf children in the pre-school stage.

The second topic

In the second topic, “Strategies for teaching reading and writing to deaf and hard-of-hearing students,” Dr. Fatima Al-Anzi, General Supervisor - National Curriculum Center - Ministry of Education in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, spoke about strategies for teaching reading and writing to deaf and hard-of-hearing students. On the other hand, Dr. Walid Abdul Karim, Assistant Professor at Northern Border University in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, talked about Ignite a passion for reading, establish reading skills and empower preschool children with hearing impairment through phonological awareness.

The third axis

The third topic, "Highlighting the role of the family in educating and training deaf and hard of hearing persons," featured a presentation by Safaa Mohammed, the professor who is also the guardian of Alaa and Shahad, two of the students. Furthermore, the family is crucial to the success and continuity of children with hearing impairments, according to Ms. Marwa Madi, Head of the Sharjah Hearing City Center.

The fourth topic

In the “Employment” section, Ms. Amna Ibrahim, Employment Coordinator at the Masarat Center for Development and Empowerment of the SCHS, discussed procedures and policies for hiring people with disabilities.

The fifth topic

Then, Ms. Rima Al-Daghistani, the photographer at SCHS’s Media Production and Training Center, and Mr. Awad Saeed, the teacher at Al-Amal School for the Deaf, presented an idea about “models of successful deaf workers, and the challenges they face”.

The sixth topic

In the topic of methods for educating deaf people, Professor Jeffrey S. Previn from the United States of America discussed the challenges facing deaf students in schools and universities in the United States of America and ways to overcome them. In addition, Dr. Samir Samreen the regional representative of the International Association of Sign Language Interpreters, “Wasley,” talked about education for the deaf and its missing link.

The seventh topic

The final topic, "Inclusive Education," brought the forum to a close. Ms. Doaa Dridi, Supervisor of the Inclusion Unit of SCHS, discussed "Inclusive Education...a Sustainable Approach."

Media dialogue

Several deaf children were interviewed by the Amasi program on Sharjah Channel, where they discussed the 49th Deaf Week's events. A portion of the mental arithmetic curriculum for deaf and hard of hearing pupils was demonstrated, along with how it affected their academic achievement.