The Association of Lawyers Living with Disability in Nigeria (ALDIN ) has appealed to the Nigerian Law School to provide Sign Language Interpreter for Miss Dumi Prosphen, a deaf Student currently at the Lagos Campus of the Law School.
In a letter addressed to the Deputy Director, ALDIN passionately appealed to the Nigerian Law School not to neglect Miss Dumi who according to them had a sign language interpreter throughout her five years as an under graduate.
Part of the letter read:
We write to most passionately appeal for the provision of a sign language interpreter for the above named student who had been admitted to the Lagos campus of the Nigerian Law School. This will enable the said student to follow the lectures that are essentially orally delivered.
It is germane to note that several other deaf lawyers had graduated from the Nigerian Law School and were provided with sign language interpreters. Today, they are doing well both in Nigeria and abroad. We were also made to understand that University of Ibadan, where she studied, provided Miss Prosphen with sign language interpreter throughout her five years law program at the Faculty of Law.
Sir, it may interest you to know that the practice globally is to make the entire gamut of the affairs of the society, including the educational system, inclusive, or accommodating, of persons with disabilities. And the Nigerian Law School should not be seen to be laid back on this score.
Our constitution while fostering national integration also provides in section 39(1) as follows:
Every person shall be entitled to freedom of expression, including freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart ideas and information without interference.
Accordingly, sign language is the medium whereby the deaf “receive and impart ideas and information without interference.”
On the whole, if Miss Dumi had defied all the odds, graduating from the University of Ibadan and gaining admission to the Nigerian Law School, paying the requisite school fees, it will only be fair for the Law School to accord her an enabling ground to receive her lectures, given her peculiar circumstance.
We are optimistic that you will use your good offices to grant our application as that will accord with global best practices, our constitution and the interest of justice.
ALDIN as the umbrella body for Lawyers living with disability has in recent times through its incumbent President Daniel A. Onwe Esq been taking the welfare of lawyers with disability seriously. He has in recent past approached relevant government agencies with legitimate appeal for support for lawyers in this category. It is hoped that the passage of the long awaited bill which provides for the welfare of physically challenged people would bring the needed succor.