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Kwara govt. urged to employ sign language interpreters in all ministries

He lamented that some of their members face the problem of unemployment as sign language interpreters.

• September 23, 2023
Sign language interpreters used to illustrate the story
Sign language interpreters used to illustrate the story [Credit: The Independent Uganda]

The Kwara State chapter of the Association of Sign Language Interpreters of Nigeria (ASLIN) on Saturday called on the state government to employ sign language interpreters in every ministry.

Akeem Ibrahim, chairman of ASLIN-Kwara, made the call on the association’s behalf while speaking on the sidelines of the International Day for Interpreters.

He lamented that some of their members face the problem of unemployment as sign language interpreters.

The UN General Assembly proclaimed September 23 the International Day for Interpreters to raise awareness of the importance of sign language in fully realising the human rights of people who are deaf.

Mr Ibrahim lamented that those with hearing impairment face challenges of poor communication, especially in ministries, hospitals, and courts.

He added that this leads them to be misdiagnosed on their health or misunderstood in courts.

“Every agency and ministry should have interpreters, or they should learn sign language because deaf people also make use of those places especially,” the chairman observed.

He pointed out that members of the association face unemployment challenges and a lack of motivation in society.

Mr Ibrahim added that the deaf community needs the necessary support to be self-sufficient and contribute their quota to the nation.

“Society needs to totally accept them and understand their concern without being pitied and labelled in an unsavoury manner,” he said.

Mr Ibrahim advocated inclusiveness, adding that people with disabilities, especially deaf people, need to be included as part and parcel of the citizenry.

“This means deaf people who are educated and literate should be employed in all ministries.

“Some of them are artisans who are doing one or two things, but they need grants and support from individuals and governments,” he said.

Mr Ibrahim emphasised the importance of interpreters to the state and the nation, adding that the interpreting assignment is fascinating.

He described the profession as a method utilising different compositions of finger-spelling, lip-reading, body gestures, and demonstrations to communicate fragmented and coded messages to clients.

“This assignment is not an easy task, but sign language interpreters see this as a practice, which is joyfully accepted and performed,” he said. 


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