Ene Oshaba

Notable advocates of Deaf people have been recognised for their immense contributions to making life more meaningful for the deaf in the country.

Deaf Women Aloud Initiative (DWAI) during the awards ceremony Friday in Abuja, as part of activities lined up to commemorate the International Week of the Deaf on the theme: “Celebrating Thriving Nigeria Deaf Community.”

Its executive director, Hellen Beyioku-Alase, said the award became pertinent following the relentless commitment by the recipients in pushing the issues concerning the deaf to the limelight, adding that they wouldn’t have come this far without their support.

“We all know the importance of sign language to the deaf. To us, sign language is not only a language but is also our culture, our identity, and our pride.

“This year’s celebration is particularly special because we at DWAI acknowledge the impact and contributions made by some individuals and organisations in the promotion of sign language and deaf rights and have decided to appreciate them with this award,” she said.

Earlier, the president, Maryland state association of deaf in the United States of America (USA), Tony, Fasakin, while giving a brief history of the deaf and how they have evolved around the world stressed the need for deaf persons to not hide themselves, but create awareness about themselves to attract the support they need.

Also, the founder, Street Foundation, Rita Ezenwa Okoro, enjoined the deaf to take advantage of creative arts in creating awareness about the deaf.

She called on relevant authorities to consider including sign language as a subject to be taught in schools “so that more young people will know the use and teach others.”


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