The Henry Djaba Memorial Foundation has called on government to recognize sign language as a language just like other spoken languages.

According to the foundation, considering Ghana’s increasing population of deaf people, it has become necessary to recognize the language officially to ensure that its use becomes mandatory in all official programmes.

They said: “In Ghana, according to the Ghana Statistical Service data captured during the 2010 Housing and Population Census, 110,625 people are hearing impaired with an additional 101,087 being persons with speech problems – thus bringing the total to 211,712 persons with hearing and speech impairment.

“With these increasing numbers of deaf people in Ghana and worldwide, the Foundation wishes to make a case for Ghana to recognize sign language as a language just like other spoken languages.”

The Henry Djaba Foundation made this call at the celebration of the International Day of Sign Language, which is being marked in Ghana under the theme: ‘Language Sign, Language for All’.

According to the foundation, without the promotion of sign language, Ghana’s deaf community would live in silence.

They further encouraged all duty bearers, government agencies, civil society organizations and service providers to mandatorily ensure that provision is made for sign language interpreter services at their programmes and activities for the benefit of deaf people in the country.

They added that: “The Henry Djaba Memorial Foundation wishes to congratulate Sign Language Interpreters in Ghana and the rest of the World for providing inclusion for the deaf through translating spoken language into sign language and vice versa and making communication easy and interesting to and for deaf people.”