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PWDs: Stakeholders ask FG to officially recognise sign language

PWDs: Stakeholders ask FG to officially recognise sign language
August 27
11:14 2023

Some stakeholders have asked the federal government to officially recognise sign language.

The Coalition of National Association for Persons with Hearing Impairment, the Association of Sign Language Interpreters of Nigeria and the Lionheart Ability Leaders International Foundation made this call at a press conference, on Thursday, to create awareness for the public on the importance of promoting sign language.

The associations called for the recognition of sign language as a second official language in the country in order to aid the inclusion of Nigerians who are hearing impaired.

The National Association for People with Hearing Impairment said the documentation and practical usage of Nigerian Sign Language (NSL) by all and sundry will enable sign language users to claim their rightful place as equal citizens of society and contribute their quota to national development.


“The development and use of one language for the deaf community will eliminate misunderstandings which exist within the Nigerian deaf community owing to the use of various signs misinterpreted to be American Sign Language alongside the different indigenous signs used by members of the deaf community from various parts of the country,” the stakeholders said.

“This concept causes a serious communication gap and misunderstanding during interactions with other people with hearing impairment. The development and use of a common language will unite over 9 million Nigerians in the 36 states and FCT.

“It will also enable family members, teachers, school administrators, medical practitioners, policy-makers and other stakeholders in the lives of these persons and members of the general public to easily interact with and enhance the all-round inclusion of these unique members of the society so that they can maximize their potentials and make meaningful contributions to the development of the nation.


“As Nigeria continues to struggle towards actualising the full implementation of the Nigerian Disability Act, the recognition of NSL will position the hearing impaired to fully exploit the inherent provisions of the disability law.”

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