Communicating with the hearing world is usually the main problem for people who are hard of hearing.
According to the Union of Deaf of Georgia, 1% of the population of Georgia live with hearing and speech impairments. However, there is no official information how many children are deaf.
"All children despite their abilities have a right to be educated and there are no exceptions." Georgian Children Rights Code, article 10.
Inclusive education was implemented and developed in 2006 in Georgia. Now, special teachers for disabled children are in more than 500 schools. However, deaf children still do not have equal environments for studying.
There are two specialized schools for the deaf children in Georgia. One is in Tbilisi, another one in Kutaisi. Public schools are not adapted for them, even teachers do not know gesture language at inclusive schools.
Those children who do not live in Tbilisi or in Kutaisi, their families need to send them in another city and leave children for years. Children are far from their families in teen ages when they mostly need parents support. But as a vice president of the Union of Deaf of Georgia, Maia Metonidze explains, despite of this difficulty, deaf children in specialized schools can communicate to each other. Because mostly deaf children could not communicate to their families in a proper way.
So, deaf children have two options do get education in Georgia
If a child knows gesture language, he can demand gesture language translator in public school.
If a child does not know gesture language, he has to go to the specialized school.
Georgian Gesture Language
New law about disabled people introduces "Georgian Gesture Language" as a means of communication with deaf and hard of hearing people living in Georgia, and obliges the government to recognize it and create all the necessary conditions for its proper use by those who need it.
However, nowadays it is not mandatory for specialized teachers to know gesture language. It depends only on individuals' desire to start learning gesture language.
Today, there are not enough teachers who know gesture language. As Maia Metonidze explains, for creating equal environment each deaf child needs one assistant who knows gesture language.
Luka Bejashvili was 2-year-old when the doctor diagnosed him with neurosensory hearing loss. He could not hear in one ear and audibility for the second one is 50%. Luka needs to have hearing aids for both ears entire life. But he has only one hearing aid now, because the government funded only for one ear. Luka can catch words but still he has problems with hearing. Now he goes to the public school of the village Nukriani, Kakheti. But the way that his family and he went through was not easy.
Luka has a very good sense of visual memory. During watching the cartoons, very often he draws his favorite superheroes. He is talented in painting.
Luka's best friend is his sister, Barbare, 6. They spend the whole day together, sing, dance and play with their dogs.