By Yusuf Akinlotan, Lagos
In oder to bridge the communication gap between people with hearing-impaired and others in the Nigerian society, Mercy Adesubomi Priestley Salviders Foundation (MAPS) has partnered with the University of Lagos Staff school to launch a project on Sign Language in the University’s staff school.
The Sign Language in Staff schools (SLISS) project launch with the theme : “Included and unashamed” took place on Monday, at the University of Lagos Staff School Hall, Akoka, Lagos State.
Addressing the media on the brain behind the project, the founder, Anuoluwapo Priestley-Adesubomi who is a nurse and educator narrated how she took interest in the deaf community from childhood when she would sit in front of TV to learn from a certain presenter, Patience, who taught sign Language back then on Nigeria Television Authority (NTA).
She added that her my interest grew in adulthood after an inclusion programme at the University of Georgia in the US as she started to encourage her little ones by starting sign language class.
On her choice of Staff Schools for the Sign Language Project, Adesubomi pointed that she began to advocate representation of the Deaf Community in Staff Schools (SLISS) which is the first phase of the MAPS project.
“This has become a cause and passion for me to ensure the whole world come to realise that sign language is also a language though not spoken but signed.”
Appreciating the initiative, the Head Mistress of University of Lagos Staff School, Dr (Mrs) Ajayi Juliet Adesim expressed her happines stating that she also had similar sign language experience while she was in school.
“While in school too, I came across a program like this in Owo, Ondo state around 1981. So I was very happy when she introduced it to me that she intended to launch it in our staff school and I obliged it, She said.”
The event was grace by Dr. Biodun Adeneye- Marcus, author English without teacher, Mr Azeez Aliu, special educator and sign language interpreter from Lagos state Ministry of Education as well as Mr Kola Oyelade, CEO, Candleht International Limited.