The effectiveness of sign Language in Teaching Learners with Hearing Impairment in Special Schools and Units in Kwale District-Kenya.

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Kampala International University, College of Education, Open and Distance Learning.
This study was set to investigate the effectiveness of sign language in teaching learners with hearing impairment in special schools and units in K wale District. The researcher discussed in his report, hearing impairment, causes and categories of hearing impairment, development of deaf education in Kenya and the development of Sign language. Also discussed is sign language as the medium of instruction and the challenges faced by teachers. The researcher used survey method to collect information from the sample population of ten teachers teaching learners with hearing impairment. Stratified random sampling was used to get the sample. The researcher used questionnaires to collect data, from the respondents. These were dispatched by hand to the two institutions in the district namely Kwale School for the Deaf and Kichaka Mkwaju Unit for the Hearing Impaired. Analysis of the data collected was done using both quantitative and qualitative approaches where various aspects were presented in tables and descriptive form. The major research findings were that almost all the respondents had undergone training in SNE. This showed that they have the skills and knowledge of handling learners with hearing impairment. Other findings showed that hearing impairment affect learning because the learners performed poorly in all subjects. In conclusion the researcher felt that though most of the teachers use sign language as the medium of instruction still it was not effective. The researcher therefore recommends that, teachers should undergo intensive training in sign language and should use a lot of visual aids in teaching. Sign language should be used together with other related supporting signs like natural signs, gestures, body language and others hence the use of total communication. Certain subjects like Kiswahili should be dropped from the curriculum and introduce sign language as a subject. Sign language interpreters should be employed by the government as permanent members of staff in all schools of the hearing impairment.
A research report submitted to Institute of Open and Distance Learning in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirement for the Award of Degree of Education in Special Needs Education of Kampala International University.
Sign Language, Learners, Hearing Impairment, Special Schools, Effectiveness, Kwale District-Kenya