National President, Educational Sign Language Interpreters Association (ESLIAN), Comrade Oladipupo Omobosola, has declared that it is high time Nigerian education policy makers and other related educational agencies in the country ensured that sign language interpreting attains its rightful place in the Nigerian educational\professional system.
The national president made the declaration at the second biennial international conference of the association held at the Federal College of Education, Special, Oyo recently.
According to him, the development of deaf education in the Nigerian school system at all levels had become inenviable, hence the need for professionalising sign language interpreting in the country.
The development he said would help the stakeholders in the system participate meaningfully in nation building.
”It is my aspiration that sign language interpreting in Nigeria is professionalised, not only in principle but in practice. It might interest you to note that this profession is about the only academic one that has not been professionalised,” he stated.
He said the association would not rest on its oars to ensure that sign language interpreting is professionalised in Nigeria.
Dr Olufemi Adigun of the department of Special Education, University of Ibadan, in his paper presentation on the theme of the conference; “Professionalising Sign Language Interpreting for Sustainable Development of Deaf Education in a Developing Nation” asserted that the deafs who required the sign language needed a sign language interpreter to relay their thoughts and feelings to the hearing members of the community.
Speaking in the same vein, Mr Samuel Ajayi, of the School of Special Education, Federal College of Education, Oyo noted that sign language interpreting is a noble profession that was practiced all over the world.
Meanwhile, Dr Emma Asonye of University of New Mexico, USA, criticised the introduction and usage of foreign sign language for deaf education in Nigeria.
He pointed out in his paper its negative impact on the cognitive development and linguistic competence of an average deaf child.
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