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GADHOH to celebrate International Week of the Deaf

Sep 20, 2016, 11:21 AM

(Issue, Monday, 19 September 2016)

The Gambia Association of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (GADHOH) is once again celebrating the International Week of the Deaf (22nd – 24th September 2016) under the theme: “With Sign Language I am equal”.

For deaf people to:

Have equal access of participation in the Gambian society as everybody else; be able to appropriately advocate for their rights; be involved in all decision making processes concerning their lives;  have access to public information and services such as education, social welfare, health care, and employment; be able to do almost every job;  and lead independent lives.

The Gambia must identify deaf people as belonging to a cultural and linguistic community and recognize sign language as their natural language which they need to use to communicate.

The government needs to immediately provide resources for the language’s promotion (training and employment of adequate number of sign language teachers and interpreters for public service.

The authorities should enable deaf children to acquire sign language knowledge to enable them to have full communication with people, improving their cognitive and social skills. They need access to language from birth.

The authorities need to facilitate sign language be used as language of instruction in all subjects with a parallel strong emphasis on teaching, reading and writing of English language.