1 The Association of Sign Language Interpreters of Nigeria (ASLIN) has called for the adoption of sign language as part of languages to be incorporated into the country’s education curriculum.
2 The Kwara chapter Chairman of the association, Mr Ibrahim Owolabi, made the call on Friday in Ilorin while marking the 2022 International Sign Language Day.
“It is a moment of joy to join International Colleagues and The Deaf Community on this special day of Sign Language.
3 “Sign Language is not just for the Deaf Community but for everyone as it is an internationally recognised language.
4 “It is worrisome that in some societies they feel unconcerned as regards the well being of the deaf, forgetting that there is Ability in Disability.
5 “In the Deaf Community we have Medical Doctors, Lawyers, PhD holders, Scientists, Teachers, Businessmen, Communicators, Interpreters, Linguists, the list goes on,” Owolabi said.
6 He said that the greatest error any society could make is labeling this “learned gurus as disabled”.
7 “Worthy to note, Sign Language has its own semantics, syntactic, morphological structure, it also has all derivatives or root words or words formation.
8 This is a Language officially adopted and developed by the Deaf Community,” he said.
9 Owolabi said the day is a day to show the World that Sign language usage is not limited to the deaf community, but all at large in all places the human uses; be it in the library, hospitals, police station, courtrooms, university, media stations or malls.
10 He therefore cautioned against stereotyping of the deaf community, saying “we are not second class citizens of any nation, we demand attention, love, care and officially adopt Sign Language as part of languages to be incorporated into education curriculum in Nigeria.
11 “This will allow the growth of sign language in Nigeria and its further adoption by the general populace.
He then appealed to parents who may have a deaf child at home that such special child should not be held at home, stating that deafness is not a disease and not even contagious rather its a challenge that can be surmounted.
15 The ASLIN also appealed for government’s assistance in bringing in more interpreters to media houses and medical centres as members visit these places frequently.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that every Sept. 23 of the year is a day set aside to celebrate International Sign Language Day.