The Henry Djaba Memorial Foundation on Wednesday 23 September commemorated this year’s World Sign Language Day, in recognition of persons with hearing impairment and acknowledging sign language interpreters.

In a statement signed by the Executive Director, Dr Otiko Afisah Djaba, the Foundation urged Ghanaians to recognize sign language as any other spoken languages in the country owing to the growing deaf population in Ghana.

According to the World Federation of the Deaf (WFD), approximately 72 million people suffer hearing impairment worldwide.

In Ghana, the statistical Service data conducted during the 2010 Housing And Population Census revealed that 110,625 are people with hearing impairment with an additional 101,087 being persons with speech problems.

Thus, the figure sums to 211,712 persons with hearing and speech impairment in Ghana as of 2010. “Sign language is, indeed, the spoken language of the deaf,” the Foundation, said, while encouraging duty-bearers, government agencies, Civil Society Organizations, and service providers to make sign language interpreter services mandatory in all programs and activities to benefit deaf people.

It also urged duty-bearers to pay rapt attention to the 2020 sign language theme, “ Language, Sign Language For All,” and make a policy to support Sign Language as a Language”.

“Imagine living in a world without sin Language, the deaf would live in a world of silence,” the statement said.
However, the Foundation congratulated Sign Language Interpreters in Ghana and the rest of the world for making communication easy and interesting for the hearing impaired through translating spoken language into sign language.

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