Mauritius: Improving the economic and social integration of deaf persons

Mauritius: Improving the economic and social integration of deaf persons

Upgrading the services of the Society of Welfare of the Deaf to contribute to the empowerment of deaf persons

The project has been implemented in line with the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Students of the vocational secondary school have benefited from training in IT and graphic design, hairdressing, cookery and handicraft. This has increased their chances for employment and social integration. Over the last 5 years, some 20 young deaf adults have been employed.

Dr Noorjehan Joonas, Chairperson of the Society for the Welfare of the Deaf


The Society for the Welfare of the Deaf (SWD) also known as the Jomadar Centre for hearing Impaired, was created in July 1968 to safeguard the fundamental rights of deaf persons and ensure their integration in society. SWD has established a school since 1969 which currently caters for 100 children (primary and secondary levels), where teachers are generally from mainstream education, are assisted by deaf teaching assistants who are former students of the school with competence in Mauritian sign language.


  • To enhance access of children and young persons with hearing impairment to secondary education and vocational training.
  • To train additional bilingual sign language interpreters.
  • To regularly update the audiology unit to detect hearing problems.
  • To set up a speech therapy unit to ensure that maximum benefit is obtained from the teaching-learning process at school.
  • To regularly maintain and update the laboratory for the production of hearing aids accessories, and provide repairs and maintenance of hearing aids.
  • To train young people in specific fields where they can either be employed or self-employed (ICT, cookery, arts, hairdressing, etc.).


  • Improved access to vocational and secondary school (90% of primary school students attend the vocational and secondary school).
  • Teachers trained in deaf education.
  • Bilingual competence in sign language acquired by 4 interpreters.
  • Launching of the first digital Mauritian sign language dictionary.
  • Training of Mauritian sign language interpreters (currently 4) to enable them to train additional young people.
  • Update and improvement of the ear mould laboratory.
  • Training of 2 former students employed by the Centre to prepare ear moulds in order to provide appropriate services to the deaf community.
  • Increase in employability of hearing-impaired and deaf young persons in sectors such as IT, graphic design, handicraft, hair dressing and beauty therapy (20).


  • Launch of the first digital Mauritian Sign Language dictionary.
  • Production of 4,000 ear moulds each year for the Ministry of Social Security.
  • 4 fully trained Mauritian sign language interpreters.
  • 6 deaf teaching assistants trained in teaching pedagogy.
  • 20 young deaf adults trained and in employment.


Anass and Angelle, two beneficiaries of the project want to share what they have learned with other deaf persons

At the SWD Vocational-Secondary School I was able to learn technical subjects like ICT. I passed the national Form 3 exams and followed the ISLIA training programme. I want to learn more about using multimedia in the classroom to help Deaf learners.That will also help me to participate in the work on the Mauritius Sign Language dictionary project.

Anass Maudarbux


I have successfully completed my vocational secondary education and I want to become a trained Deaf teacher. I am learning to make video clips for use in the classroom.  Thanks to the ISLIA training programme I saw for the first time how Deaf teachers teach Deaf pupils. That is what I want to do at the SWD School for the Deaf.

Angelle Leonide