As part of effort to create awareness on the need for social integration of persons with disabilities, the Network for Persons with Visible Disabilities (NAPVID) in collaboration with a team of National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) on Saturday held a sensitization rally to commemorate 2023 Sign Language Day, in Benin City.
The sensitization rally which took off from Market Square at Sapele road under a drizzling rain, to Oba Ovoramwen square in the Edo state capital, created an avenue for the organizers to call on citizens to learn sign languages for easy communication with deaf persons in the society.
The sign language day is held every year on 23rd of September, to further advocate for deaf people and the communities they live in, in other to find a safe space in the larger society, and the theme of this year’s event is “A World Where Deaf People Everywhere Can Sign Anywhere”.
According to NAPVID’s executive director, Melody Omosah, sign languages should be part of Nigeria’s policy on education, hence the “minimum” government can do for deaf persons in the country is to include it in educational curriculums to show inclusion.
“We want to see the possibility of people understanding deaf persons when they communicate, and people being able to relate with the deaf persons wherever they come across them. Sign language must be taught in basic school up to secondary school; it need be part of the curriculum”, Omosah remarked
Also, the team of NYSC members, who were the initiators of the sensitization walk noted that the event was to remind stakeholders as well as encourage the general public on the need to take responsibility for the inclusivity of deaf people in their various communities.
“It’s about accessibility and inclusion”, said Ogunrinu Janet, a member of the team