A HEARING-impaired teacher who was bullied and teased as a child has suggested the introduction of sign language in schools.
Speaking in sign language Sereana Qionilase believes she was teased because people did not know how to communicate with her.
"I was constantly teased in school for being deaf and for my inability to speak. This has to stop," the Lautoka Special School teacher said through her brother's intepretation.
"One of the biggest difficulties today though, is that this teasing still goes on. People don't see us as being like them, they can only see the disability.
"When people see me using a mobile phone, they laugh because they don't understand how we make phone calls —that's because we don't —we text."
Her husband is hearing impaired too and they have seven children. "Being deaf, I need to use signs, signals, sometimes even sticks to try and let others know what I mean.
"I'm very independent in that I do all my house chores, look after my children and I'm a teacher," her brother intepreted.
The 38-year-old lives at Tavakubu. "Having a family who all know sign language and bear with my hearing impairment is really helpful. I still think that more people need to learn how to communicate with us properly though," she signaled.