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Henry Djaba Foundation congratulates Sign Language Interpreters

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The Henry Djaba Foundation has congratulated Sign Language Interpreters in Ghana and the rest of the World for bridging the communication gap between deaf people and their hearing counterparts.

International Day of Sign Languages, is marked on September 23, 2019, on the theme: “Sign Language Rights for All!”.

A statement signed and issued by the Executive Director, Otiko Afisah Djaba on International Day of Sign Languages, is calling on Action to duty bearers, carers of deaf people, Government agencies, Civil Society Organizations and service providers to make provision for sign language interpreter services in their programs, organisations, homes and activities for the benefit of all deaf people in Ghana.

The Foundation, is also encouraging  all Ghanaians to appreciate the importance of early access to sign language, sign language services and quality education in sign language.

Below is the full statement:

PRESS STATEMENT

23RD SEPTEMBER 2019

BY EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

HENRY DJABA MEMORIAL FOUNDATION

On the occasion of the International Day of Sign Languages, 23rd September 2019, the Henry Djaba Memorial Foundation wishes to congratulate Sign Language Interpreters in Ghana and the rest of the World for bridging the communication gap between deaf people and their hearing counterparts.

According to the 2010 Housing and Population Census, there are 110,625 deaf people in Ghana.

Records of the Ghana National Association of the Deaf state that,  there are approximately sixty (60) proficient Sign Language Interpreters in Ghana.

This represents a ratio of 1:1844.  Comparatively, the UK has a ratio of 1:31.  

This means that, Ghana is far behind and collectively we have to wake up and address the inequality, stigmatization, discrimination and abuse of the rights of deaf people.

Sign Language offers deaf people the opportunity to break the barriers of their world of silence.

We at the Henry Djaba Memorial Foundation would like to make a Call to Action to duty bearers, carers of deaf people, Government agencies, Civil Society Organizations and service providers to make provision for sign language interpreter services in their programmes, organisations, homes and activities for the benefit of all deaf people in Ghana.

The world of silence is not an option for any Ghanaian.

To leave anybody behind or out is against the human rights and to achieve the SDGs, deaf people should have access to Sign Language Interpreters.

The 23rd September has been set aside by the UN General Assembly to commemorate the date Week of the Deaf (WFD) was established in 1951.

The objective for dedicating this day as the International Day of Sign Languages is to raise awareness of the importance of sign language and to quote UN Secretary-General Antonio Guteres, to recognize “the importance of sign languages for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and fulfilling its core promise of leaving no one behind.”

The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is explicit on the fact that sign languages are just as important as spoken languages and state parties are obligated to facilitate the learning of sign language and to promote the linguistic identity of the deaf people.

Sign language is very critical to the development and progress of deaf people.  As we commemorate and celebrate the 2019 International Day of Sign Languages, the Henry Djaba Memorial Foundation, wishes to encourage All Ghanaians to appreciate the importance of early access to sign language, sign language services and quality education in sign language. Indeed, the 2019 theme: “Sign Language Rights for All!  is so apt.

The Henry Djaba Memorial Foundation says AYEEKOO TO SIGN LANGUAGE INTERPRETERS IN GHANA!!

Signed: Otiko Afisah Djaba, Executive Director, Henry Djaba Memorial Foundation

#SignLanguagesDay

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