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African Sign Languages: Overview of Situation in West Africa

Explains how Deaf education language policies impact the situation among West African sign languages. Case studies in Ghana, Nigeria, Mali.
Cover of the book "Cambridge Language Surveys: Sign Languages"

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Sign languages are rich and diverse, in Africa as well as elsewhere. But researchers often overlook African sign languages. In response, the author summarizes information about deaf education in West Africa. She also explains how Deaf education language policies impact the sign language situation. For example, many countries have both local and imported sign languages. The author also provide case studies of sign languages in Ghana, Nigeria, and Mali. She also provides information about other countries as well.

Victoria Nyst published this chapter in A Cambridge Language Survey: Sign Languages. The book published in 2010. Her chapter is available for free in PDF format at the link further above. The PDF file is partly accessible for people using screen reading software. But it has accessibility barriers. For example, the images do not use descriptions in alternative tags for people who cannot see. Images include maps of different countries in Africa, and images of different signs.

Meanwhile, the book as a whole is not free. But you can read the introduction and table of contents at Amazon. The book as a whole explains 40 different sign languages around the world.

The author of this book chapter also created a website about African sign languages.

Also explore our other resource links about sign languages in Sub-Saharan Africa.

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TRANSCRIPT — DESCRIPTIONS AND CAPTIONS

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