#National News

GADHOH welcomes introduction of sign language at UTG

May 19, 2021, 11:09 AM | Article By: Sanna Jallow

The Gambia Association of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (GADHOH) has welcomed the recent move by the University of The Gambia to introduce local languagesin the country’s education system for the deaf and hard of hearing persons.

In a letter of appreciation seen by The Point, Dodou Loum, executive Director of GADHOH welcomed the development, expressing optimism that this would mark the beginning of a process leading to government’s recognition of The Gambian sing language, as one of the country’s languages and also facilitating its promotion.

"The deaf and hard of hearing community of The Gambia forms a significant portion of The Gambia population and this community incidentally has no alternative but to depend on use of sign language (instead of one of the many spoken languages) for their wellbeing and the socio-economic development."he said.

Unfortunately, the government and the society, he added, have so far failed to recognise the significance of the language prolonging the marginalisation of these citizens, preventing their access to quality education, employment opportunity, health care and other public service benefits, which are being enjoyed by the rest of the society.

"In this way the violation of the human rights of these persons with disabilities becomes an everyday occurrence".

Loum expressed hope that the UTG intervention in sign language work would surely contribute to building a socially cohesive Gambian society where deaf and hard of hearing have equal access to opportunities and are not discriminated against or as a second-class citizens.

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