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Give us attention – Deaf associations tell governments



The National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN) and Deaf Development Association, Ikorodu West chapters, have called on governments to give deaf people more attention.

They made the appeal on Thursday during the maiden edition of Deaf Awareness Day organiséd by the Deaf Development Association, Ikorodu West Chapter, in Lagos State.

The event had the theme: ‘We Sign For Human Rights; Inclusion and Welfare of the Deaf’’.

The Chairman of the association, Mr Tosin Kuku, said at the event that the awareness day was aimed to bring the plight of the deaf to public consciousness.

“We are appealing to our governments to include us in employment opportunities, especially some of us who are graduates.

“We also have among us artisans who have learned skills and are in need of tools, equipment and funds to enable them to engage in trades.

“We seek assistance and intervention of government to lessen our burdens on expensive hospital bills,” Kuku said.

The chairman also appealed for employment of the deaf in hospitals for sign communication.

He described sign language as a unique medium to support and protect the linguistic identity and cultural diversity of deaf people and other sign language users.

Also, NYCN Chairman in Ikorodu West, Mr Asoro Abubakar, urged governments, individuals and groups in positions of authority to protect the rights of people living with disability.

He said that such people had value to add to the society in spite of their challenges.

Asoro implored Lagos State Government to give jobs to the deaf to alleviate their suffering.

He urged that deaf people should be employed as sign language communicators, especially in the health sector where, he said, there were few or no sign language communicator.

“We are using this programme to advocate for protection of the rights of the deaf.

“The earlier we give them equal rights, the better, so that they will not become a problem to the society,” he said.

The Founder of Deaf Women Association of Nigeria, Mrs Adedoyin Beyioku-Alase, advised the deaf not to be discouraged.

She also called for equal rights for the deaf and urged social benefits for deaf people.

Beyioku-Alase said that giving the deaf desired attention would enable them to contribute to national development.

The Chairman of Ikorodu West Local Council Development Area (LCDA), Mr Sulaimon Olanrewaju, thanked the groups for their efforts.

Olanrewaju, represented by Mr Omoteju Shakirudeen, Head of Human Resources Department of the LCDA, promised to support the deaf to the best of his capability.

He also pledged to look into how the LCDA would solve some of the challenges of the deaf within available resources.

A traditional ruler, Oba Bashiru Sotonwa, Sekunmade of Ipakodo in Ikorodu, who was represented by Mr Oloruntade Fatola, Baale Ogolonto, urged the LCDA to consider deaf associations in its yearly budget.

“If they employ two or three every year, it will alleviate their suffering gradually,” the traditional ruler said.

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