The Centre for Citizens with Disabilities, CCD has called for a collaborative effort among the Federal Ministry of Information, the National Commission for Persons with Disabilities and the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC to ensure the inclusion of Deaf persons in every sector of the society.
CCD specifically demanded that the NCPWD should ensure awareness creation on Sign Language in Nigeria, and to promote and recognize Sign Language as a lingua franca in Nigeria as a way to reduce the gap between the Deaf community and the larger society.
This is contained in a press release issued by David O. Anyaele, Executive Director CCD, in commemoration of the International Day of Sign Language 2022, with the theme ‘Sign Language Unite Us.’
The group also charged INEC and Political parties to ensure the availability of Sign Language interpreters during the forthcoming General elections even as campaign kicks off in September 2022.
Anyaele said it is important that “no one is left because of hearing impairment, as such with access to Sign Language to Deaf community, will not only unite us as a people, but would go along way towards promoting inclusive society free from discrimination on the grounds of disability, and hearing impairment in particular.”
Anyaele who said “being Deaf in Nigeria attracts exclusion, isolation and stigmatization as well as poverty” noted that the sign language day “is an opportunity for us to ask ourselves critical questions on the extent to which we include Deaf persons in governance and socio-economic activities in the society; the extent of availability of Sign Language interpreters in Nigeria that could support the teeming Nigerians with hearing impairment.”
He thereafter recommended that “incentives should be provided by Federal and State governments to encourage and increase more students enrollment for Sign Language studies in our higher institutions. This is to ensure availability of Sign Language Interpreters in every location in Nigeria to support the increasing number of Deaf persons; even as the need for capacity building on sign language usage in our public institutions has become imperative.”