By Abigail Asiamah
The Director of the Ghana National Association of the Deaf (GNAD), Juventus Dourinaah has advised parents and teachers to embrace sign language as an official mode of communication for individuals with hearing disabilities.
As the world celebrates International Week of the Deaf, Mr. Dourinaah has urged parents, and teachers to embrace sign language to ease up the flow of communication between their wards with hearing impairment.
In an interview on the GTV Breakfast Show on the 22nd of September, 2023,he stressed the vital role of effective communication in parenting a child with a hearing disability. He added to give children with hearing impairment hope of belonging, the acceptance of sign language is very imminent and key.
“Imagine being a parent unable to communicate with your own child – the kind of advice or support you could provide would be severely limited. To truly empower these children, we must bridge this communication gap at home and beyond. It all starts with learning their language,” He said.
He also added that, once you become a parent to a deaf child, it becomes crucial to learn their language and ensure they receive an education that nurtures their language development. He advocated for the inclusion of sign language in the educational curriculum, believing it would not only benefit the deaf community but also foster understanding and support from the broader population.
“If sign language is formally recognized within our education system, it will encourage a broader section of society to learn and offer assistance to persons with disabilities,” he affirmed.
He further called on government and other stakeholders, to view the potential impact of legal recognition for sign language. According to him it will compel more individuals to engage in the learning process and building a more inclusive society.