[lg policy] Int’l Day Of Sign Languages: Obaseki Pledges Support, Robust Policy For People With Special Needs

Harold Schiffman haroldfs at gmail.com
Tue Sep 25 10:34:27 EDT 2018


 Int’l Day Of Sign Languages: Obaseki Pledges Support, Robust Policy For
People With Special Needs
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For People With Special Needs]

Governor Obaseki of Edo State

BENIN CITY The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki has said his
administration is committed to supporting people with special needs in the
state, assuring that policies are being framed to accommodate their rights
to express themselves, so they can lead better lives.

The governor, who said this in commemoration of the maiden International
Day of Sign Languages marked by the United Nations this year, said that the
state government has set up a committee to streamline the needs of people
with disabilities with a view to ensuring their inclusion and participation
in development.

According to him, “The committee we have set up is currently working to
streamline the concerns of people with special needs and will eventually
provide recommendations on adequate structures to enable them live life to
the fullest.

“However, at the basic education level, we are remodeling the sub-sector to
improve access for every child, which includes children with hearing
disabilities.”

“On this day, it is imperative to reiterate the need for inclusion of
people with special needs in policy design to allow society tap from their
wealth of talents in driving development. At the same time, we recognise
the need to promote sign language which will ensure that children with
special needs pick up these essential skills to better function in
society,” he added.

Obaseki said the theme for this year’s event, “With Sign Language, Everyone
is Included!,” speaks to the need for inclusion, noting that reforms in
basic education accommodates the peculiar needs of persons with special
needs, which include people with hearing disabilities.

He added, “We will ensure that children with hearing disabilities who learn
through sign languages have equal access to quality education and benefit
from the Edo Basic Education Sector Transformation (Edo-BEST) programme.”

The governor decried the vandalisation of Schools for Persons with Special
Needs, urging members of communities to do more in protecting public
schools.

According to the World Federation of the Deaf, “there are approximately 72
million deaf people worldwide, with more than 80% of them living in
developing countries.”

The United Nations (UN) describes sign languages as fully-fledged natural
languages, which are structurally distinct from the spoken languages. The
UN makes clear that sign languages are equal in status to spoken languages
and obligates member states to facilitate the learning of sign language and
promote the linguistic identity of the deaf community


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 Harold F. Schiffman

Professor Emeritus of
 Dravidian Linguistics and Culture
Dept. of South Asia Studies
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6305

Phone:  (215) 898-7475
Fax:  (215) 573-2138

Email:  haroldfs at gmail.com
http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/~haroldfs/

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