NATION

Learn Sign Language, Parents Urged

A hearing impaired student is encouraging parents to learn sign language to make communicating easier. Etika Naqio, 28, graduated with a Certificate IV in Youth Work from the Australia Pacific
11 Apr 2015 09:58
Learn Sign Language, Parents Urged
Etika Naqio graduated with a certificate IV in Youth Work from the Australia Pacific Technical College yesterday. Photo: Rama

A hearing impaired student is encouraging parents to learn sign language to make communicating easier.

Etika Naqio, 28, graduated with a Certificate IV in Youth Work from the Australia Pacific Technical College (APTC) yesterday.

Mr Naqio was also part of the Youth Parliament Forum in 2014.

Born and raised in Suva, he said his biggest challenges in life were communication and to be seen as equal to others (transgender).

Through his interpreter, he delivered a remarkable speech yesterday at University of the South Pacific’s AusAid Theater where 128 student of APTC graduated.

“I urge parents to learn sign language because it will be easier for children like us to communicate with them,” Mr Naqio said.

“I lost my hearing when I was three years old after falling sick and my way of communication was through pointing at things or at times lip reading, until I learned sign language.”

He said the through his course, he was able to learn about youth problems, counselling abilities and empowering environment for young people to combat challenges.

He also raised his concerns on the mindsets of people about transgender acceptance in community.

“I advocate for youth, people with disability and the rights of lesbian, gay and transgender members of the community,” Mr Naqio said.

“Although the Government is helping people like us, but I think more can be done and also people need to change their mindset and not discriminate us.”

He urges people to be open about who they are and not to think disability as the end of everything.

“If I can do it, others can too.”

Feedback:  farisha.ahmed@fijisun.com.fj

 




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