Mr Polycarp Udeagu, Chairman, Nigeria Association of the Deaf in Anambra, has called for inclusion of sign language in the schools’ curriculum in the state.
He said that the inclusion and teaching of sign would afford special persons the room to catch up with daily conversations like other normal people.
Udeagu made the call during an awareness rally oragnised by the association on Saturday in Awka.
He said that physically challenged persons have enormous potentials to transform Nigeria and should not be sidelined.
According to him, to accommodate physically challenged persons, especially the deaf in the scheme of things is crucial as it will give room for more persons to contribute their quota in development.
Udeagu said that the era had gone when special persons were subjected to empathy, and called for level playing ground for them in education and other sectors to showcase their ability.
He said that the communication barrier that existed between the deaf and hearing, had denied some them the ability to communicate effectively.
“It is to close this barrier that we call on relevant authorities to include the teaching of sign language in the curriculum so as to bridge the gap, “he said.
Also speaking the Chairman, Deaf Teachers Association in Anambra, Mr Amaobi Nwangwu, said time had come for special persons to see themselves like normal people and develop their talents.
He said that government at all levels should partner with the association to give them the sense of belonging as that would enable the society tap from their natural endowments.
“Gov. Obiano has shown great passion for the lots of persons living with disabilities and they should take advantage of these windows’’, he said.
He also appealed to corporate bodies to join hands in the efforts of the state government to institutionalise sign language in the state to help the deaf obtain services easily.
The Chairperson, Deaf Women Association in Abuja, Mrs Helen Udeoye, urged parents to stop discriminating against their children, who have special needs.
She said that Obiano and his wife Ebelechukwu have been great in their assistance to persons living with disabilities in Anambra state and called on other well-to-do persons to emulate them.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the rally was the maiden edition of the deaf week held in Anambra.
NAN further reports that the Special Assistant to Gov. Willie Obiano on sign language, Mr Collins Joseph interpreted sign language to the participants at the event.