The National Association of the Deaf, UNAD has demanded inclusion in all poverty reduction programmes by government as well as the planning, implementation and monitoring of development ventures such as Vision 2040, SDGs, National Development Plan 2 and government and institutional budgets.
The call comes ahead of the International Day for Sign language that will be celebrated tomorrow 23rd September 2020. The day is celebrated annually by the global Deaf Community during the last week of September, to commemorate the same month the first World Congress of the WFD was held.
In Uganda, the day has been celebrated since 2006 and this year’s theme is: “Sign language Rights for all.” The theme was chosen to reaffirm Deaf People’s Human Rights.
According to Mbulamwana Joseph the Executive Director UNAD, they want the national effort to promote the use of sign language in all spheres including provision of social services, public engagements as a means of bridging the communication gap between the deaf and the wider populace.
“It’s shameful to see that Uganda first country in the world to constitutionally recognize sign language is still lagging behind in its development and promotion. Imagine even the plenary debates in parliament are not interpreted to the deaf community although aired on TV. Kenya that approved sign language a few years ago has ensured that parliament debates are interpreted in KSL” Mbulamwana says.
He appealed to government to recognize the International Day of Sign Language as a national holiday in the spirit of promoting Uganda Sign Language.
He also wants government to recruit sign language interpreters in referral hospitals, courts and all local governments/districts for efficient service delivery and inclusion. Mbulamwana says there is urgent need to have sign language taught as a subject from primary one to secondary.