To stop Deaf stigmatization by:

  • Documenting isolated Deaf communities and their language(s)
  • Newborn Hearing Screening/Early Intervention Program

Committed to the Total Development of the Deaf children and youths, bridging the gap between the Deaf and hearing families.

SDELI Organisational Structure

Deaf people are the most vulnerable group in Nigeria. The deaf children and youths are highly marginalized and underdeveloped and their language, undocumented. Deaf people ought to be part of the nation’s workforce, contributing their quota to the nation’s socio-economic development and working out a better livelihood for themselves and their community, but their age long marginalization has continued to shut them out of our larger community, while their families, the government, the church, and the entire society have ignorantly contributed to sustain the situation in which they are.

It is obvious from our studies that Deaf stigmatization begins from the families to the kindred and communities and is more intense in the early days of the Deaf child to early adulthood. The effect of the communication gap between the Deaf and their hearing family members and their immediate communities in Nigeria cannot be overemphasized as the latter are being stigmatized and marginalized even by their caregivers and immediate family relations.

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 oriented, community-based non-profit organization documenting and advocating for the Deaf children and youths in Nigeria with central focus on:

  • Stopping the Deaf stigmatization
  • Developing the Deaf children and youths
  • Bridging the gap between the Deaf and Hearing

Since over 3 years of our operations, we have worked in 4 deaf communities in Imo State and the FCT, identifying with over one thousand Deaf students in different schools for the Deaf. We have carried out different community services plus free medical services in these Deaf communities, 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 about 40 schools/units for the deaf in Lagos and Enugu following the approval from their Ministries of Education, and we have mapped out plans to reach out to Deaf communities in Oyo State, all of which have significant Deaf population.
Our goal is to reach all the Deaf communities in Nigeria, collecting linguistic and socio-cultural data, developing a database for the Deaf population in Nigeria, which will be first of its kind.

Our Core Values

M – Mutual Relationship – the Deaf and the Hearing of our society have the right to a mutual relationship devoid of stigmatization, irrespective of their linguistic backgrounds.

E – Equality – the Deaf and Hearing of our society have the right of being treated with equal respect and regard.

L – Linguistic/Cultural Development – The national sign language and the emerging sign language varieties shall be documented and developed, plus the demographic data of Deaf lifestyle.

S – Service Oriented – Our Organization is committed to its 

S – Service Oriented – Our Organization is committed to its service to those with speech-language and hearing disorders, whereby government and non-government organizations must work together to build a Deaf Culture that will be the pride of the Deaf in our society.

H – Human Capital Development – the Deaf and Hearing of our society have right to an equal opportunity of education and human capital development.