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USAID Launches New Activity to Empower Deaf People in Nigeria Through Sign Language Education

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USAID Launches New Activity to Empower Deaf People in Nigeria Through Sign Language Education

Less than 40 percent of deaf children in Nigeria are enrolled in primary school, and even fewer are allowed to continue on to secondary education

ABUJA, Nigeria, September 24, 2021 / APO Group / –

On September 23, 2021, Katie Donohoe, Acting Mission Director of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), in collaboration with officials from Gallaudet University, Nigerian National Association of the Deaf (NNAD ) and other partners launched a new activity to empower deaf, hard of hearing and deafblind children and youth through education, employment and life opportunities in Nigeria. Nasarawa Federal Senator Umaru Tanko Al-Makura, who is part of Nigeria’s deaf community, was also in attendance.

The new three-year $ 2.05 million activity – Strengthening Deaf Education, Empowerment and Employment (Deaf-E3) – will strengthen the capacities of groups integral to advancing the education that fully meets the needs of deaf, hard of hearing and deafblind Nigerians, including education professionals, Nigerian sign language interpreters and development actors.

“Through this partnership with Gallaudet, USAID is supporting a trend change for the deaf community,” Donohoe said at the launch. “Deaf people can do anything hearing people can do except hear. In fact, people who are deaf, hard of hearing, and deafblind can excel at all levels of education and employment when they receive an education that is accessible and designed to interact and communicate directly with their parents, teachers and children. peers.

The launch takes place on International Sign Languages ​​Day during International Deaf People’s Week. Olufemi Ige, a Gallaudet University alumnus who serves as the Deaf-E3 project manager, delivered a Nigerian Sign Language (NSL) lesson to commemorate the day and engage participants in sign language recognition as relevant and valued forms of communication for all.

Operational since May 2021 and continuing until 2024, Deaf-E3 will develop manuals to train education professionals in a multimodal and multilingual approach to deaf education, strengthen the capacities of NNAD and its stakeholders, establish a consortium of interpreters and deaf people to improve signage practices. language interpretation in education and increase the capacity of USAID and other development actors to promote awareness of NNAD and other deaf community advocates.

“Less than 40% of Nigerian deaf children are enrolled in primary school, and even fewer are allowed to continue on to secondary education,” said Fela Bank-Olemoh, senior special assistant to the president of the Federation of Educational Interventions. “Programs like this are essential to ensure that all stakeholders must be on the bridge to address the problem of undereducation, underdevelopment and poverty within the deaf community. “

Regarded as America’s premier institution of higher education for the deaf community, Gallaudet conducts research in many fields including education, linguistics, psychology, educational neuroscience, deaf history and culture, and the black deaf history and culture, and is already present in Nigeria. Other partners in the Deaf-E3 activity include Wesley University-Ondo, Discovering Deaf Worlds and the National Commission for People with Disabilities.

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