THE community needs to learn to communicate with the deaf, and the deaf must learn to "speak out" and like many others with various disabilities, learn to live with thediscrimination, says NompiloKhanyile.
Khanyile is a computer teacher at the KwaZulu-Natal Blind and Deaf Society in Durban.
She spoke to Sowetan at the end of campaigns for Deaf Awareness Month, which was celebrated last month.
"As deaf people we battle to communicate with the public, while people refuse to learn South Africa's 12th 'official' language - sign language," said Khanyile.
Khanyile, who was born in Hammarsdale, became deaf at the age of three.
Communication with her mother is still a bit of a problem since she spent most of her life at boarding school.
Communication barriers are the main challenges facing deaf people in their everyday lives, says Khanyile.
It starts from taking a taxi to work, trying to buy sweets from a shop or even consulting a doctor. These are issues that Khanyile and others like her wish could come to an end.
"I was an IT student at the Durban University of Technology but dropped out due to financial problems."
Being at university was difficult at first until she pulled herself together.
"I had to adapt and learn to be part of the hearing world and I told myself that no disadvantage will set me back," Khanyile says. - Siyabonga Mhlongo