Including the Excluded: Effects of Social Stigma on the Socio-Educational Development of Deaf Persons in Limbe City Council Area, South West Region, Cameroon

Patrick Fonyuy Shey, Ph.D, NLIH CATHERINE NGAH


This study based on the inclusion of Deaf persons in the mainstream investigated the effects of social stigma on the socio-educational development of Deaf Persons in Limbe City Area of the South West Region of Cameroon. The forms of stigma assessed were limited to: cultural beliefs and, labelling. The study made use of a correlation survey design. A sample of thirty-one Deaf persons, sixteenparents and thirty-one neighbours making a total of 78 participants were selected to take part in the study using the snowball sampling technique study. The instrument used to collect data was a questionnaire using Rensis Likert scale of measurement. Data collected were analyzed quantitatively with the use of frequency counting and advanced inferential tests like Chi-Square, Cox and Snell R Square. The explanatory power of the Integrated Value Mapping (IVM) comprising all the two predictors (cultural beliefs and labelling) summarized as social stigma was 96.9% and the variability explained was significant (P=0.000). It was therefore concluded that social stigma has an effect on the socio-educational development of Deaf person since the overall agreement was highly significant (P=0.000). It is recommended that special educators organize seminars or use mass media to educate the public on the need to change cultural beliefs as a means to include Deaf persons in the mainstream society. The government needs to declare sign language compulsory to all citizens so that Deaf persons can have a sense of belonging and maximally socialize wherever they find themselves. This will enable Deaf persons to feel loved and thus cause them to contribute significantly to social progress.

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