Home Deaf News Stakeholders Advocate Recognition of Nigerian Sign Language As Official Language

Stakeholders Advocate Recognition of Nigerian Sign Language As Official Language

by Sejoro Ekundayo
Published: Last Updated on

Stakeholders of Sign Language users in Nigeria have called for the official recognition of Nigerian Sign Language as a second official language in the nation to ensure the all-round inclusion of Nigerians who are Deaf, Hard-of-Hearing and Deaf-blind.

The coalition of the Nigeria National Association of the Deaf, the Association of Sign Language Interpreters of Nigeria and the Lionheart Ability Leaders International Foundation, under the National Coalition Grant of the Disability Rights Fund, made the call at a press conference on Thursday, 24th of August 2023, to sensitize the general public on the importance of promoting Sign Language.

The coalition partners led by Nigerian National Association of the Deaf (NNAD) said, “by documentation and practical usage of Nigerian Sign Language (NSL) by all and sundry will enable sign language users to claim their rightful place as equal citizens of society and contribute their quota to National growth and development.

“The development and use of one language for the Deaf community will eliminate misunderstandings which exist within the Nigerian Deaf Community due to use of various signs misinterpreted to be American Sign Language alongside the different indigenous signs used by members of the Deaf Community from various parts of the country.”

This concept causes a severe communication gap and misunderstanding during interactions with their counterparts from other parts of the nation.

The stakeholders assured that “the development and use of a common language will unite over 9 million Nigerians in the 36 states and FCT. It will also enable family members, teachers, school administrators, medical practitioners, policy makers and other stakeholders in the lives of these persons and members of the general public to easily interact with and enhance the all round inclusion of these unique members of the society so that they can maximize their potentials and make meaningful contributions to the development of the nation”.

The stakeholders affirmed that “as Nigeria continues to struggle towards actualizing the full implementation of the Nigerian Disability Act, the recognition of NSL will position the Deaf, Hard-of-Hearing, and Deafblind to fully exploit the inherent provisions of the Disability Law”.

1 comment

ALIYU SARKI ALIYU August 27, 2023 - 7:52 am

So happy to hear that… Congratulations to our people with the hearing impaired..


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