Inclusive Friends Association (IFA) has launched a sign language interpreter’s manual aimed at improving participation and accessibility for people living with disabilities (PWDs) in Nigeria’s electoral processes.

Development Diaries learnt that IFA, in partnership with the Nigerian National Association of the Deaf (NNAD) and the Association of Sign Language Interpreters of Nigeria (ASLIN), also launched and presented a document on the Cost of Accessible Elections in Nigeria.

President Muhammadu Buhari had in 2019 signed into law the Discrimination Against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibition) Act 2018.

While ensuring the protection and provision of rights to people with disabilities across all areas, the Act explicitly states that the federal government will ‘promote an environment’ that encourages people with disabilities to participate in politics.

On the manual, the IFA Executive Director, Grace Jerry, said that such an important tool had been unavailable due to limitations in the country’s sign language interpreter’s education programmes.

Jerry said, ‘As stakeholders working strategically to improve participation and electoral accessibility for PWDs in Nigeria, these documents are timely interventions to further improve the electoral landscape till no PWD is left behind.

‘The Sign Language Interpreter’s Manual was developed to guide INEC and other public and private institutions on the use of sign language interpreters for effective communication with voters with hearing impairments before, during and after elections’.

In her remark, INEC National Commissioner, Amina Zakari, commended IFA, NNAD, and ASLIN for advocating the cause of accessible elections for PWDS in Nigeria.

‘These publication will in no small measure improve the accessibility options open to us as a nation bearing in mind the dwindling resources available to Nigeria…’, she said.

Source: Leadership

Photo source: Inclusive News Network

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