An evaluation of the suitability of primary schools for the hearing impaired. A case study of Uganda School for the deaf, Ntinda-Kampala.
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Hearing impairment is one of the neglected and rather hidden disabilities suffered by over 5% of the world population (360 million people) of whom 32 million are children. In Uganda, the hearing impaired make up close to 3.4% of the total population (about 1.5 million people) and according to Uganda National Association for the deaf, approximately 95% of the adult persons have never been to school. “We build buildings for people we must know who and what those people are. “(Berenson 1968) The hearing impaired inhabit a rich sensory world where vision and touch are primary means of spatial awareness and orientation. The group of people uses sign language and when they congregate together they tend to alter the space to fit their unique way of being. This is the first proof of the hearing impaired existence and their unique architecture way. Some people involved in the education of the hearing impaired are justifiably concerned with what happens in the school or the institution every day and they disregard the unique sensibility of the physical environment in which the hearing impaired live. I think architecture are people and it should not be forgotten by architects and other people involved in a constant changing physical world. It is therefore appropriate for designers and professionals to find the appropriate and relevant physical environment in which learning for the hearing impaired takes place. This report focused on investigating the appropriateness of the design of primary schools for the hearing impaired in Uganda taking a case study of Ntinda school for the deaf by reviewing available literature on the subject matter, making observations, use of photography, sketches, having interviews with doctors and teachers of the hearing impaired. The research went ahead to find out why the schools are not appropriate for the hearing impaired and why designers have not embraced deaf friendly design, it also gave some recommendations on what should be done to make the schools suitable for the deaf.