by Loveth Asogwa,
Can you take away the wheelchair from wheelchair user no matter the provocation, can you take away the clutches from a clutches user because he offended you and can you take away the white cane from a blind because he disagree with you.
These are extreme actions you can take against any of these persons with disabilities and it is wrong and it amounts to dehumanization. As very many persons will never punish any of these persons in this manner no matter the provocation.
A sign language interpreter means a lot to a Deaf, infact a sign language interpreter is like the communication air that a Deaf person breathes because a Deaf is not aware of his or her environment if there is no sign language interpreter available.
Going by my explanation above, you have learnt that without sign language interpreting, Deaf persons are cut off from the world. So, sign language interpreters are like companions, friends, colleagues, brothers or sisters to the Deaf and they are the most important people in the lives of Deaf persons even more than their immediate relatives who cannot sign.
The reason is not far-fetched because they are simply the ear and the voice of the Deaf as such they should be respected and treated as important as how a wheelchair is to a wheelchairs user, clutches to a clutches user and a white cane to a blind person.
Attacking a sign language interpreter in the course of his or her job is tantamount to taking away the voice of the Deaf. It is irrational for one to attack a sign language interpreter for whatever reason.
People should separate the Sign Language Interpreters from the Deaf persons. You don’t vent your anger on a sign language interpreter simply because he is doing his professional job.
If people be it persons with disabilities, persons without disabilities continue to attack sign language interpreters under the guise that they are having a quarrel with a Deaf person, the implication is that people should be afraid to come into the job and as such it will lead to reduction of the service. Meanwhile, more people are being encouraged to come into the job because the service is insufficient presently in Nigeria.
It is important to note that it is the duty of a sign language interpreter to protect a Deaf person whenever the environment is not conducive or when there are adversaries against the person because the sign language interpreter will at all cost keep the deaf person informed so that he will be out of danger.
Just like I earlier said that sign language interpreters are like companions, friends, brothers or sisters to the Deaf, it is to emphasize how important they are to the Deaf, it is not that if a Deaf person offend you, you go and attack his sign language interpreter to get back at him. It is wrong and it should be condemned.