Introduction / History
There may be about 32,000,000 deaf people living in the world today, depending on how the term is defined. There are 60,000 deaf people living in the country of Tunisia.
Where are they located?
Deaf people live in all provinces in Tunisia. They are not grouped in any particular region or city.
What are their lives like?
The deaf in Tunisia can be divided into three groups, the slightly deaf , moderately deaf , and severely deaf. Those who are slightly and moderately deaf can use devices that help them hear and speak. As for the severely deaf , they can only communicate with sign language. Sign language is not common to those outside Tunisia's deaf society.
Associations are emerging in many cities throughout the country that teach sign language. The deaf can find community in these places, though transport can be challenging for those who live very far from the nearest association. The deaf have virtually no career options and it very difficult to find anyone willing to hire them. Most deaf people have no options for marriage.
There is a village in the region of Nabeul (northern Tunisia) that is entirely deaf. About 500 people call this place home. The village became entirely deaf through generations of intermarriage. The former dictator, Ben Ali, took advantage of these people by putting wind turbines on their land and gave them no financial reimbursement for it. As a result, the only way these people have found to survive is through fishing.
What are their needs?
Many hearing people tend to think the deaf are not very intelligent because of the communication barriers, as well as the speech patterns deaf exhibit.
Many deaf people feel hearing people oppress them and purposely withhold information from them. There is very little "mixing" of the core deaf community with the hearing community. The difficulty with being deaf is not the inability to hear, but the great barrier to communicating with the surrounding dominant culture, especially as related to acquiring information. The great barrier to communication is also a barrier for the Deaf in Tunisia to gain access to the Gospel. This population especially needs resources that will get the Gospel to them in Tunisian Sign Language.
Prayer PointsView Deaf in all countries.
* Pray that God gives the Deaf in Tunisia dreams and visions leading them to Jesus Christ.
* Pray that Tunisian Christians will find ways of leading the Tunisian Deaf to Jesus Christ.