September has been declared as the Month for the Deaf by the Namibian National Association of the Deaf (NNAD) “With Sign Language Right, Our Children Can,” as the theme for a series of activities that have been planned for the whole of this month. The activities will aim to raise awareness and to promote the rights of deaf people, as well as highlight specific human rights of the deaf, specifically sign language recognition.
Speaking at the launch yesterday at the Khomasdal Stadium, Chairperson of NNAD, Linekela Paul Nanyeni, says they celebrate the Month of the Deaf to honuor and commemorate the achievement of the deaf people and highlight the problem and challenges that are facing on the daily basis
Earlier he had added that the awareness campaign is a call for unity from the rest of the world through consistent, coordinated and widespread mobilisation to ensure that campaigns are visible and effective.
“It’s about gathering together, becoming united, and showing that unity to the rest of the world,” he says. He adds that this month is the only month in a year that sees highly concerted global advocacy to raise awareness about the deaf community at different levels.
“With sign language rights, our children can recognise sign language as a valid linguistic means of conveying thoughts, ideas and emotions,” Nanyeni notes. He says acquiring sign language should not be considered a last resort, least desirable or temporary option for deaf children and they should not be denied access to sign language from birth.