22 Jun 2016 12:30pm
WINDHOEK, 22 JUN (NAMPA) Deaf people in Namibia are calling on Government to recognise the Namibian Sign Language (NSL) as a formal language subject in schools, like English, German and others.
Speaking at a recent event to explore the inclusion of persons with disabilities, Namibia National Association of the Deaf (NNAD) Director Paul Nanyeni said recognising the NSL will enhance access to information for deaf people.
Namibia is celebrating the 10th anniversary of the adoption of the United Nations (UN) Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), and there are some very important rights of the deaf outlined in the convention. The recognition of Sign Language is a fundamental right in the CRPD, he said.
Nanyeni said there are capable men and women who are able to represent themselves at different levels. However, those opportunities are too often not presented to them or are indirectly denied.
We are not dumb or mute, we are deaf people with so many talents, skills and abilities to think and reason on our own, he stressed.
The NNAD aims to raise awareness among the community about the importance of deaf people in the country.
This project is funded by the Fund for Local Cooperation (FLC) under Embassy of Finland in Namibia to the tune of about Euro 99 000 (about N.dollars1.6 million).
In a speech read on her behalf, Deputy Minister of Disability Affairs in the Office of the Vice-President Alexia Manombe-Ncube encouraged all stakeholders to work together towards demonstrating that Namibia values its citizens with disabilities and is prepared to create a true society for all.
The minister noted that the recently-launched disability report from the Namibian Statistic Agency (NSA) indicated that people with disabilities are still excluded from many services.
The Namibia 2011 Census Disability Report by the NSA stated that number of people with disabilities in Namibia has increased from about 43 000 in the year 1991 to more than 98 000 by 2011, of which about 16 357 people were recorded as deaf.