People living with a disability: Deaf people in Côte d'Ivoire seek state support for better living conditions

The deaf people of Côte d'Ivoire through their association are asking for assistance from the Ivorian State in order to benefit from better living conditions. They said this on Thursday, September 24, 2020, at a press conference organized for this purpose, at the press house in Plateau and hosted by Ouattara Yegueleworo, chairman of the board of directors (Pca) of the said association.

The aim of the meeting is to raise awareness of the importance of sign languages for the full realization of the fundamental rights of deaf people. And to promote equal opportunities for a better life condition.

According to Mr. Ouattara, the objective of the conference is to raise awareness and promote equal opportunities for deaf people living in Côte d'Ivoire. Especially to show that sign language is an essential prerequisite to ensure the full participation of deaf people in their communities and to ensure the full realization of their human rights.

This is why, according to the CEO of the National Association of Deaf People of Côte d'Ivoire (Anaso-ci), governments must support the early acquisition of sign language and offer an inclusive and quality bilingual education.

Better still, he said, governments must provide and fund professional and trained sign language interpreters to enable the participation of deaf people in society.

For Ouattara Yegueleworo, much remains to be done despite the efforts made by the Ivorian government in its policy of compulsory schooling for all, which has allowed the inclusion of deaf children in ten cities in Côte d'Ivoire. As well as special recruitment sessions for people with disabilities in the civil service, of which 190 people have been recruited to date, and the government decree on access to employment for people with disabilities in the private sector.

"There has been a single specialised school for deaf children since 1974. Deaf secondary school, high school and university students encounter enormous difficulties in their school courses due to a glaring lack of sign language interpreters to transmit in their mother tongue," he deplores.

He nevertheless encourages the authorities to take up the challenge in terms of supporting the sign language used by deaf Ivorians, before urging them to support his mission to improve the living conditions of deaf people in Côte d'Ivoire.

It should be noted that this association was created in 1991. Its mission is to inform, train and promote the deaf in Côte d'Ivoire.

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