Governor Willie Obiano has called for a Collective action to end discrimination against disabled persons saying that Sustainable Development Goals, will be fully achieved when the scourge of discrimination against people living with disabilities is eliminated.
Governor Obiano stated this during the 2019 International Sign Language Day at the Professor Kenneth Dike e-Library in Awka.
The Governor who was represented by his Special Adviser on Disability Matters, Mr Chukwuka Ezewuzie, said his administration is desirous of making the study of sign languages a must in Schools and Colleges across Anambra State.
He announced that more employment will be offered to disabled persons in the State, adding that other needs of the association will continue to receive the attention of his administration.
While calling for assistance to enable deaf children go to school to learn sign languages as means of communication, the Special Assistant to Governor Obiano on Sign Language Communication, Mr. Joseph Collins, explained that out of the one hundred and sixty-nine targets of the seventeen Sustainable Development Goals, eleven have clear reference to persons with disabilities, including the deaf.
He noted that approximately seventy-two million people across the globe are Deaf, with over eighty per cent of them living in developing countries and using more than three hundred different sign languages.
In his address, the State Chairman, Anambra State Association of the Deaf, Comrade Amobichukwu Nwagwu, disclosed that the association promotes full integration of the Deaf in areas of education, vocational skills acquisition, character building, jobs creation and economic emancipation.
While commending Governor Obiano for his disability friendly policies, demonstrated by the appointment of a Special Assistant on Sign Language Communication, Comrade Nwagwu, listed some of their pressing needs to include, employment of deaf teachers and sign language interpreters, upgrade of facilities in special schools, as well portion of land for the association’s Secretariat According to United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres, Sing Language Day recognizes the importance of sign languages in achieving Sustainable Development Goals, and fulfilling its core promise of leaving no one behind.
The day also offers opportunity to support and protect the linguistic identity and cultural diversity of users of sign languages.
The event, organized by the Anambra State Association of the Deaf, in collaboration with the Office of the Governor on Disability Matters, has as its theme: Sign Language, Rights For All.
Award presentation, national anthem, as well as drama presentation by deaf school children added glamour to the event. (ABS)