Rwanda Sign Language Dictionary Project
The Government of Rwanda, Deaf Rwandans and Deaf educators have longer recognized a need to document Rwandan sign language.
The first effort for RNUD to publish the first edition Rwanda Sign Language Dictionary was in 2009 with financial support from Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO). Like any other language, sign language goes through some changes and these changes need to keep the language vibrant and alive.
With strong political will from the Government of Rwanda and financial support from VSO in collaboration through National Council of Persons with Disabilities (NCPD), this year 2014 Rwanda National Union of Deaf (RNUD) embarked on the process of conducting the Sign Language Dictionary Project which will lead to a new comprehensive and harmonized Sign language used in all provinces and City of Kigali with input gathered from members of the Rwandan Deaf/hard of hearing community and/ or school centers for the Deaf/hard of hearing across Rwanda.
The new dictionary is expected to have over 2000 signs; The Dictionary will offer clear three dimension illustrations and alongside Kinyarwanda and English explanations to make it a valuable reference to both Deaf and users alike, services providers and educators of the Deaf and thus recognized as National language by Rwandan Government in the Rwandan Constitution that will be used as powerful instruments in advancement of quality bilingual education, breaking communication barriers as well as in full exercise of the rights of the Deaf people.
As long as there are Deaf people, there will be Sign Language : “Nothing for us without Sign Language”