As part of the advocacy efforts towards official recognition of Nigerian Sign Language, the Coalition Partners of the Nigeria National Association of the Deaf (NNAD), the Association of Sign Language Interpreters of Nigeria(ASLIN) and the Lionheart Ability Leaders International Foundation(LALIF) held 2-Day Strategic Meeting to develop a National Policy on Nigerian Sign Language at the Denis Hotel, Abuja from 27th – 28th April, 2022.
The Vice president of NNAD, Haruna Tsafe representing the President of NNAD, Hon. Chidi Olujie, said that the policy will address the challenges of Deaf persons in Nigeria because it will enhance the recognition of Sign Language as an official language in Nigeria, incorporate it into school curriculum and guarantee the provision of sign language interpretation in all offices, television stations, health facilities etc.
He also said that the policy will enhance the continuous development of Nigerian Sign language dictionary which was launched at first National Disability Summit in 2021.
The meeting was supported by National Commission for Persons with Disabilities and Disability Rights Fund.
Mr. Lawrence Idemudia, Acting Director, Social Integration, National Commission for Persons With Disabilities (NCPWD) representing the Executive Secretary of NCPWD, Mr. James Lalu, said that the policy will help NCPWD to promote the sign language interpretation across Nigeria. He commended the coalition for the initiative, pledge the support of NCPWD in the process of developing the policy and also promised full implementation of the policy by the commission.
TQM reports that the Policy known as National Policy on Sign Language, when the development is full completed, it would be sent to the Executive Council for approval and if it succeeds, Nigerian Sign Language will be one of the officially recognized languages in Nigeria.
The policy will be implemented by NCPWD.
The Strategic meeting was attended by Coalition leaders and some experts on Disability inclusion.
TQM also reports that the development of the policy continues with sub Committees set up to look at the roles of different MDAs in the implementation of the policy.