The Nigerian National Association of the Deaf, in partnership with Association of sign language interpreters of Nigeria and its allies, in a joint press conference organised to commemorate the international day of sign language, has demanded that the Mohammadu Buhari led administration should establish a commission for persons with disabilities; reserve 5% employment for qualified Deaf Nigerians with the federal civil service and sign language interpreters be employed in health section to provide access to quality health care service.

Below is the full statement of the joint press conference as obtainted by Inclusive News Network:


In solidarity to the global movements for the promotion of Deaf Rights, the Nigeria National association of the Deaf join the world to celebrate the 2019 International Day of Sign Languages with the theme Sign Language Rights for All! The association and its allies wishes to thank the United Nation under the leadership of the Secretary General Anthonis Guteras for ensuring that the rights of the deaf are recognised by state parties through the ratification and domestication of the United Nation Convention for the rights of Persons with Disabilities which Nigeria is a signatory. We also wish to felicitate with the Chair of the United Nation General Assembly who is an illustrate son of the Federal Republic of Nigeria recently elected to champion the affairs of state parties in actualizing better life and equal opportunity in a society free from barriers for the Deaf.

The Nigeria National Association of the Deaf is the umbrella body of the Deaf and Hard of hearing in Nigeria established in 1979 to protect the rights of the Deaf and promote the political and socio-economic empowerment of the Nigerian Deaf.

To achieve our objectives, its been strained with the absence of enabling law and policies that will ensure our equal participation at all levels to the development of the country. This therefore means that, our intellectual and human capacity has been wasted and underutilized. While several attempt was made over a decade by Charity organizations, individual philanthropies and Agencies of government to ensure our full inclusion, these gestures were abused and exploited by some while others were frustrated due to lack of enabling law. For this reason, we wishes to profoundly thank the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria for taking a giant step to signing the disability bill into law on the 23rd of January 2019. This single gesture is key to our liberation and freedom from the shackles of marginalized, discrimination and abuses.

However the milestone achieved, a lot needs to be done to ensure that the content of the Discrimination against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibition) Act 2019 yielded the best outcomes. As part of celebration to mark the International Day of Sign Languages we wish to make the following statement as Nigerian Deaf citizens:

That the federal government of Nigeria under the leadership of General Mohammadu Buhari (rtd), should as a matter of urgency established a commission for persons with disabilities to expedite action on inclusion process mainstreaming disability in governance for the next level agenda

That the federal Government in each employment done in the federal civil service and state, 5% percent slot should be reserved for the Qualified Nigeria Deaf.

That the Health Sector in the country is not inclusive and increase maternal mortality among the Deaf Women. Sign language interpreters should be employed in hospital and health institution to provide access to quality health care services.

That government should improve the quality of Deaf Education in Nigeria by providing adequate funding for deaf schools and employ qualified teachers with sign language skills.

That the Deaf community is yet to feel the impact of other palliative measures currently ran by the present government and therefore wishes to request that programs such as this is designed to target the Deaf community.

That vocational centers in the country currently saddled with organizing trainings should make effort to ensure that Deaf youths are also involved such vocational skill training.

That our organization will explore methods and means of addressing our concerns through the appropriate quarters and in any situation our rights are infringed we will not fail to take legal redress in accordance with the Discrimination against Persons with Disability Prohibition Law.

languages as official languages is capital for the inclusion of deaf people in implementing and achieving the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and the 2030 Agenda to make the mottos Nothing About Us Without Us to Leave No One Behind become a reality. As such, it will be our honour and delight to have you mark the Day with us.


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