Our Family, Our Culture! 

Save the Deaf Initiative and Endangered Languages (S-DELI) is a research-based non-governmental Organization that promotes Deaf literacy through indigenous signed languages in Nigeria and beyond through a multidisciplinary approach, committed to the total development of the deaf children, creating language access for deaf children born in hearing families who have little or no signed language access in the first five years of their lives.


To stop Deaf stigmatization through the promotion of Deaf literacy:

  • Documentation of Deaf population and the indigenous signed language varieties.
  • Creating early language access for deaf children with little or no access to signed language in the first five years of their lives.


Committed to the Total Development of the Deaf in Nigeria.

  • Promoting Deaf literacy through indigenous signed languages
  • Documenting and promoting the Indigenous Nigerian Signed Languages for Deaf literacy
  • Collecting and developing Deaf demographic data.

S-DELI: General Overview

Deaf in Nigeria are a major minority group with an increasing population. Deaf children are highly marginalized with very poor linguistic and cognitive development resulting from limited access to signed language in the early child development age (0-5). The indigenous Nigerian signed  languagevarieties are marginalized, undocumented, and threatened by the presence of English based signed language used in Schools for the Deaf across the country, which we have described as simply the School Signs.

Deaf stigmatization begins from the families in most parts of the country where according too our studies only about 1.8% of Parents of Deaf Children (PODCs) can sign, while most community members know little or nothing about signed language. The effect of the communication gap between the Deaf and their hearing family members and their immediate communities in Nigeria cannot be overemphasized because it seems to affect every aspect of life of the deaf people.

The Deaf Communities and the signed languages used in Nigeria have received little or no attention from both researchers and the government. This has led to a high level of unconscious stigmatization of the deaf persons in the country because there is little or no communication between them and the hearing except for the few trained individuals – the sign language interpreters/instructors and deaf educators.

Save the Deaf and Endangered Languages Initiative S-DELI is a research based, community oriented non-profit organization studying and advocating for Deaf in Nigeria with central focus on:

  • Stopping the Deaf stigmatization
  • Promoting Deaf Literacy
  • Bridging the gap between the Deaf and Hearing

Since the past 4 years of our operations, we have worked in many deaf communities in Nigeria, identifying with thousands of deaf students in different schools for the Deaf, deaf adults in different States. We have carried out different community services outreaches with free medical services, focusing on eye treatments and free eyeglasses, HIV/AIDS awareness campaigns, sex education and STD screening and treatments, self-hygiene, and other capacity building programs for the Deaf students. We have also continued to bring parents and deaf educators together in our early intervention programs. We are currently collecting data from these deaf communities towards documenting the deaf population.