HON. Dr. Chidi olujie
Hon. Dr. Chidi Olujie is the current National President of the Nigerian National Association of the Deaf. He is a technopreneur, a philanthropist, a leader, a politician, and a man of many personalities. As a technopreneur, he is the founder of MOVIFY; an Uber-like app sets to launch in Africa to seamlessly handle taxi & cab booking, medical emergencies, food, and other logistics delivery. He is also the founder of the Chidi Topaz Olujie Foundation, an NGO that has brought succor to many individuals by providing Food, Medical, Educational, and other relief aids to its numerous beneficiaries. Hon. Dr. Chidi Topaz Olujie is a natural-born leader and politician. Apart from being the current the National Association of the Deaf, he was the 2019 PDP preliminary candidate for the Abia State House of Assembly, Ukwa-East Constituency. He is proficient in a wide range of sign languages like the Nigerian Sign Language and American Sign Language and serves as Deaf Interpreter in the Universal Sign Language.
Bukunmi Adejumo is a Sign Language Interpreter working towards ensuring bridging the communication gap between the Deaf persons and their Hearing counterparts. She has been interpreting professionally since 2011 as a freelance Sign language interpreter. She has interpreted at various platforms ranging from the educational setting, community setting to high level meetings. Bukunmi graduated from Federal College of Education (Special) Oyo, Oyo State where she studied Education for the Deaf/ Business Education. She proceeded to University of Ilorin, Kwara State for her Degree in Business Education. She has provided Sign Language Interpretation services for NGOs including Disability Rights Advocacy Centre DRAC, Joint National Association of Persons with Disabilities, Deaf Women Association of Nigeria, Inclusive Friends Association, Deaf Women Aloud Initiative, Nigeria Association of the Blind NAB, Daughters of Charity, The Albino Foundation, to mention but few). She has also provided her services for INGOs such as Christoppel Blinded Mission CBM, Sightsavers Nigeria, Save the Children Nigeria, World Health Organization WHO, World Bank, International Civil Society Center Berlin, Center for Inclusive Policy Washington DC, USA, and others) and other different government agencies to ensure full participation and meaningful engagement with the Deaf persons. Bukunmi Adejumo with experience gathered over time can function professionally both in Expressive and Receptive skills.
Queen Janet Taibat Fasakin
Queen Taibat Janet Fasakin is a Deaf Model, Wife, Disability Inclusion Advocate and Media entrepreneur. Queen Janet is the founder of Ability Plus Tv, a media agency that focuses and advocates for persons with disabilities in Nigeria. She is also the founder /CEO of Ability Plus Initiative, a non-governmental organization (NGO) working on empowering, educating and enlightening PWDs and the wider community on disability values, rights, responsibilities, capability and capacity towards Nigeria’s economic transformation and growth of all its citizenry. Queen Janet is a relentless believer in hard work and self-determination. This has seen her rise to the position of Producer II in Nigeria Television Authority, Abuja, thereby becoming the first deaf person to achieve such a height both within the industry and in Nigeria biggest media organization. Her program – AbilityPlus on NTA-Knowledge airs weekly on Monday/Wednesday and Sunday on Startimes. The program is used to enlighten the general public on trends within the disability community. It remains the only program focused solely on the community. The program plays host to legislators, activists, philanthropists among others. She has used her platform to further ensure that information was provided through sign language for the deaf to be carried along in day-to-day information. She is the Coordinator of the Most Beautiful Deaf Girl in Nigeria, a platform that showcases the cultural diversity inherent within the deaf community in Nigeria. She has organized pageant shows for deaf talents – female and male - who can become models within the fashion industry and role models to other young deaf people. Through her NGO, she has led and collaborated with other organizations to empower children with disability with educational and recreational materials, media aid training among others. She has facilitated access to health care lectures, outreaches and entrepreneurial conferences for the wider PWD community. As a trailblazer in the PWD community, she is well known as a role model with several mentees under her mentorship program. She currently serves as the Women leader of Abuja Association of the Deaf, an association advancing and advocating for the welfare, inclusion and empowerment of the Deaf women. community in the nation's capital. She is the recipient of several awards and recognition and recently represented Nigeria at the just concluded Africa School for Deaf Studies, Accra, Ghana where she contributed to sign language literatures, sign language linguistics and sign language annotation and research. She remains committed to the following: - Using all her created platforms – media and charity – to advocate for PWD all-round inclusion, gender balance among others - Working with like-minded organizations to impact the community.
Usman A. Nahuche
Usman A. Nahuche is the President of Nigeria Deaf Sports Federation. He is also a Board Member of Joint National Association of People with Disabilities (JONAPWD), Deaf Teachers Association of Nigeria (DTAN) and Nigeria National Association of the Deaf (NNAD). He worked at Sokoto state Nigeria Judiciary under the Area Courts Division before proceeding to the United Kingdom for Certificate in Business studies under Business and Technical Education Council. He obtained his Bachelors’ Degree from the prestigious Gallaudet University Washington DC., where he bagged a degree in Accountancy. After his graduation, he worked briefly with Group Health Association Inc Washington DC as Account clerk. He returned to Nigeria, rose through ranks and was later appointed as the Permanent Secretary of Zamfara State Civil Service Commission where he headed various Ministries and Agencies till he retired from the public service in September 2014 after serving for 35years. After his retirement from public service, he has devoted himself to Disability rights issues especially encouraging Deaf people to achieve their potentials. He loves include Travelling, Reading and Farming.
Mrs. Funmilayo Obasa
Mrs. Obasa Funmilayo Florence is the founder and director of Deaf Girl Child Initiative (DGCI), an initiative which aims at making young deaf girls discover their purposes and be self-reliant. She worked briefly with Christian Mission for the Deaf School, Onireke, Ibadan and later got appointment as a special class teacher in Ogun State, Nigeria. She holds a degree in Educational Management and works as an artist and craft mistress. She loves anything artistic. Through her passion for young deaf girl and her childhood experiences, she founded DGCI where she and her team have enlightened many young (in school and out of school) deaf girls in Ogun, Oyo and Ondo States on sexual purity, personal hygiene during and after mensuration, choosing & nurturing an ambition and vocational skills training which has so far brought positive results and is looking forward to do more.
Idemudia Lawrence is the Acting Director of Social Integration Department at National Commission for Persons with Disabilities. He is an alumnus of the Ford Foundation International Fellowship Program. He attended Federal College of Education (Special), Oyo, majoring in Social Studies/ Education of the Deaf and further proceeded to University of Ilorin, Kwara State, where he studied Educational Guidance and Counseling. Furthermore, he holds a masters’ degree in School Counselling and Guidance from the prestigious Gallaudet University, Washington DC, United States of America. He is a civil servant and an active member of the Deaf Community.
Mrs. Bernice Oyeleke
Mrs Bernice Oyeleke is the founder of Luminous Deaf Scholastic Initiative (LUDESI), a non-governmental organization with the aim of promoting literacy development among Deaf students in Nigeria. Through this organization, she organizes Annual National Literary Competitions for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students in Nigerian Tertiary Institutions beginning from year 2020. She also holds other academic and enlightenment programmes for Deaf Students in secondary schools. She is the program coordinator of the novel Deaf Literary Club, an arm of LUDESI. For the purpose of advocacy and enlightenment, Bernice authored the Deaf Nigerians Profile between 2019 and 2020. In June 2020, Bernice wrote her own story in a novel titled LUMINOUS. Bernice served with Deaf Teachers Association of Nigeria as National Treasurer and Chairperson School Competition Planning Committee (2015-2021). To her credit, she has won several domestic and international awards including The Her Ability Award (health and education category) 2020 by Light of the World International which celebrates the work of Women with disabilities across the globe. As a career, Bernice is an education officer under federal ministry of education. She is an alumnae of the Department of Special education, University of Ibadan, the first and the best.
Kaneng Rose Kwandi
Kaneng Rose Kwandi is a lecturer at the Department of Special Education and Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Jos. She hails from Jos South local government area of Plateau State. She attended Kaduna Polytechnic where she obtained her diploma certificate in Special education. She worked at Demonstration School for the Deaf Children, Kawo, Kaduna and Plateau School for the Deaf, Bassa. In 2004, she was awarded the prestigious Edward Miner Gallaudet (EMG) Scholarship to study at Gallaudet University in Washington DC, USA. In 2004, she applied for another scholarship called World Deaf Leadership (WDL) scholarship and ....she was selected as the first Deaf female from Africa to benefit from such recognized scholarship. She worked hard and obtained both her first and second degrees at Gallaudet university which is the only Liberal art University in the whole world for the Deaf. Her major was in elementary education (degree) and Deaf education (Masters). Kaneng was gainfully employed with Phoenix Day School for the Deaf, Arizona State in USA from 2009-2011. She was actively involved in some of the activities of the school such as teaching parents and guardians of the Deaf children American Sign Language during her period of working with the school. In June 2011, she relocated back to Nigeria because of her passion for teaching, she was employed to work with the university of Jos, Department of Special Education and Rehabilitation sciences in which is teaches sign language course from diploma to 400 Level and other special education courses. She so much loves teaching sign language that she will be signing in a classroom where there are no Deaf students. She volunteers to teach it in her church and neighborhood. Sign Language is her main means of communication. She uses her time to advocate and provide supports to the Deaf students in the University. She is currently pursuing her PhD in University of Jos.
Olaoluwa Bayonle Emmanuel
Olaoluwa Bayonle Emmanuel, is a Special Educator, a Sign Language Interpreter, Tutor and Teacher who picks interest in the Education of the Deaf. He is an Advocate for Inclusion of the Deaf and other Persons with Disabilities, and a Human Rights Activist. He is a Certified Special Educationist from Federal College of Education (Special) Oyo State, where he specialized in the Education of individuals with Hearing Impairment. Mr Observer (as he is fondly called) holds a Bachelor Degree from University of Ilorin. He is a Lover of Equality & Equity, A Social Media Inclusion Campaigner and a Growing Administrator of Repute. He is a An Executive Member of Nigeria Association of Special Education Teachers (NASET) Lagos State Chapter, Association of Sign Language Interpreters of Nigeria (ASLIN) Lagos state chapter, Friends of the Deaf International Foundation (FDF), CODAH Enterprise, Scout Association of Nigeria, and Lions Club International and a member of Rotary International. Mr Observer is a Renowned Sign Language Interpreter Par Excellence whose advocacy work has gained recognition far and wide in Nigeria and also attracted him to recognition from brands like Techno Mobile, Unity Bank, Tom Tom Nigeria etc. Mr Observer who also won The Ultimate Interpreters' Award among other awards and having 5 years of working experience in the Deaf community, has featured in Sign Language Interpretation on Platforms like, Lagos State Press Briefing on Covid 19, (State House, Marina Lagos), Lagos State Ministerial Press Briefing Y2020 (Alausa Lagos), Wazobia Max TV, TVC, NTA Lagos Channel 10, Radio Now Urgent Conversation by Radio Now 95.3 supported by channels TV, Youth Enterprise Conference (YECO 2018) and many others. He volunteers at The Redeemed Christian Church of God National Programs and Most Beautiful Deaf Girl in Nigeria (MBDGN). He currently works with Wesley Schools for the Hearing Impaired, and the CEO of Observer Signs Consult.
Adedoyin Beyioku-Alase, a Hard of Hearing person, popularly known as Mama Deaf. She was born on the 12th January, 1955 at Ebute-Metta, Lagos, and had her primary and secondary education in Lagos, Nigeria. A trained social worker by the Lagos State Ministry of Sport and Social Development, she is the founder of Deaf Women Association of Nigeria, the immediate past Chairperson of Joint National Association of Persons with Disabilities, Lagos State Chapter, Vice chairperson, Disability Policy Advocacy Initiative. She was the distinguished lecturer of the year 2017 for STAND-U, Nigeria Independence Anniversary at Gallaudet University, Washington D.C New York, USA. She is a former member, Board of Trustees, Lagos State Office for Disability Affairs (LASODA) and the National Women Leader of APC Persons with Disabilities Support Group. Her commitment to promote the rights and welfare of persons living with disabilities have earned her a lot of outstanding recognition from notable bodies such as Gallaudet University (Office of International Program), Washington DC, USA, Access Ability Model, kingdom of Sweden Embassy and the National Human Rights Commission, Abuja. She is a role model and mentor to members of the Deaf community.
Mr. Samuel James
Mr. Samuel James, a professional and well-known sign language interpreter and a core member of the Deaf community is the CEO of Seams Consults, a consulting firm which serves as a communication conduit between the Deaf and Hearing worlds. He is the Lagos State Chairman and South West Coordinator of Association of Sign Language Interpreters of Nigeria. He also serves as the Lead Interpreter at the Redeemed Christian Church of God. He sits as one of the core board of trustees of Friends of the Deaf Foundation (A nonprofit organization set up to bridge the communication gap with sign language and to advocate for an Inclusive Society where everyone has equal access). He is a Special Educator and holds a Bachelors' Degree from the department of performing Art. He is currently pursuing his Masters degree from the same department and looks forward to pursuing further academic achievements. He has worked with several local and international organisations which includes the British Council, Sightsavers, Government House(Lagos), Rule of Law and Anti-Curruption(ROLAC), NTA Abuja(Presidential Inauguration), Universal Exams Solutions (UExams), Ministry of Health, Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID) - He is also the host for the weekly Motivational Talk for the Deaf - Sign Talk. . In 2007, He began teaching Deaf Nigerians to dance, laying the foundation for what would ....become Nigeria’s First Ever Dance Competition for the Deaf which due to the COVID-19 pandemic was hosted LIVE online, airing across social media platforms (Instagram & Facebook) with massive participation from across the globe. He has successfully anchored various programs such as; 1. 4 times RCCG National Drama Competition winner with All-Deaf Artist 2. God's Children Got Talent Regional winner with Deaf Artists and last 4 Finalist with All-Deaf Artist 3. Dramatic Sign Language . 4. Deaf Can Dance Challenge. 5. Ultimate Interpreters Challenge 6. Deaf Dance Camp He has also produced various professional Dance videos with Deaf Dancers which are listed below; 1. "This is Me" 2. Adedotun 3. Chidi Olujie's Campiagn Video 4. UNICEF - "Nigerian Child" - November 2020. 5.Yeye by Burna boy
Ijeoma Jane Nnodim
Dr. Ijeoma Jane Nnodim (née Ifediora) is a Fellow of the West African College of Physicians (FWACP), Consultant Paediatrician and Lecturer at Imo State University Teaching Hospital. Born at Ikeja, Lagos, she is an indigene of Anambra State by birth and Imo state by marriage. She has lived with Severe bilateral hearing loss and has overcome the odds to found Isonye Foundation for Inclusive Healthcare, a nonprofit that advocates for access and inclusion for people with disabilities. Being a paediatrician, she also founded Dr Ijeoma's Healthy Kids' Community an engaging Facebook group of about 12000 members from different countries. She is married with children and loves reading and sightseeing.
Raji Ade Oba
Raji Ade Oba is a researcher, writer, teacher, scholar, and an essayist. He attended The Polytechnic, Ibadan where he studied Banking and Finance and proceeded to obtain his Bachelors’ degree from the University of Ibadan where he studied Special Education & Political Science. He graduated cum laude and was recruited into Oyo State Teaching Service Commission. He has committed himself to providing accessibility to quality knowledge and information, including adaptability, and capability to overcome the greatest challenges of the Deaf community which include poor access to information and poor information acquisition. Raji Oba has produced several evidence-based and high-quality, original content publications about issues on deaf and other disability clusters in Nigeria in various print and online media network, including Inclusive News Network (where he is Co-publisher), Nigerian National Association of the Deaf (NNAD), and the Guardian Newspaper, Nigeria. Raji Oba has used writing and teaching to help discover potentials in Deaf people, which ultimately, has helped the community to be its best.
Funmi Ogunro is the founder Friends of the Deaf Int'l Foundation (FDF) which she set up after she lost her Deaf younger sister. She is a passionate advocate of Inclusion who advocates for educational rights of deaf children. During the covid-19 school lockdown, she started FDF Academy, a school for Deaf children. They moved online, providing free learning platform for Deaf Children in Nigeria. She believes that quality Education should be accessible and affordable to every child, regardless of disability. She loves that everyone embrace sign language and be a Friend of the Deaf..
Mr. Suleiman Ujah
Mr. Suleiman Ujah is the current chairman of Joint National Association of Persons with Disabilities, FCT-Abuja Branch. He is a tutor, a disability rights advocate, a Bridge Alumnus of Bridge CRPD-SDGs and currently works as a contract staff of Inclusion Works Project via African Disability Forum. Mr. Sulayman has been a grassroot disability activist and has held many key posts in various disability organizations. He graduated from the prestigious university of Ilorin with a degree in Computer Science and has been a role model for young persons with disabilities in all ramifications. He is blessed with a wife and beautiful children.
Timothy Tinat Gwazah
Mr. Timothy Tinat Gwazah is the current president of Association of Sign Language Interpreters of Nigeria, the Chair of African Federation of Sign Language Interpreters and the Senior Aide to the Executive Secretary of National Commission for Persons with Disabilities. He holds a Diploma in Law from the University of Jos and a B.Sc (Hons) degree in Criminology and Security Studies from the same University. Presently, he is admitted to study at Gallaudet University, USA for Master of Arts degree in Combined Interpreting Research and Practice where he will proceed soonest. Mr. Timothy started his career in public service working as an official sign language interpreter to the National Agency for the Prohibition for Trafficking in Persons and other Related Matters and rose to the position of Intelligence Officer I. He was later transferred on Special Posting on the Request of the honourable Minster of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to serve as Personal Assistant in charge Sign Language Interpretation for the Deaf with specific task of coordinating interpreters at the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19. The Minister pushed for the establishment of the National Commission for Persons with Disabilities and He was requested to serve as a Senior Aide to the Executive Secretary where he is presently serving. He also occupies many leadership roles and serves as member of board to organizations. Among his leadership roles are: - President, Association of Sign Language Interpreters of Nigeria - Chair, African Federation of Sign Language Interpreters - Former Executive Director Deaf Resource Centre - Former Head of Department, Special People, TREM VISION House National and International Assignments - Official Sign Language Interpreter to President Goodluck Jonathan - Official Sign Language Interpreter to President Buhari Task Force on COVID-19 - Offical Aide to Barr Danlami Basharu, Member UNCRPD Committee - Member WASLI Education Task Committee - Alumni International Visitor Leadership Program of US Embassy. - Lead the organization of first Pan Africa Interpreters Conference (AFSLI 2017) - Sign Language Interpreters Trainers training, Sweden. Mr. Tim Tinat has received several awards both locally and internationally. Some of these awards include: - Gallaudet University (USA) award for Support Services - Award for Exemplary Leadership, Drugs Regional Control Academy, Jos - Award of Excellence, Department of State Security Services, Kaduna - Award of Exemplary Leadership, ASLIN Southwest Zone, Lagos. - Award for Leadership Support, ASLIN South-South, Benin City – Edo State - Award for outstanding Leadership, ASLIN South-East. Enugu, Nigeria. Mr. Timothy is married to Marian Nnenna Tim-Tinat and blessed with 3 lovely Daughters, Sharon, Shiloh, Shalom.
Sejoro Ekundayo Peter
Sejoro Ekundayo Peter is a Disability Rights Advocate, Media Expert, and Founding Publisher/CEO, Inclusive News Network (INN). Inclusive News Network is an online, realtime news reportage media on the subject of disability, vulnerable groups and development issues. Sejoro is also a Session Activity Mentor (SAM) with Speaking Fingers LifeWorkReady Program for Deaf Teens in Badagry. He’s a civil servant and teacher of repute at Methodist Senior High School, Badagry. Sejoro has over the years received several awards from Organizations of Persons with Disabilities (OPD) for his excellent works and influence among the Deaf and other Persons with disabilities in Nigeria.
Olatunji Ayodele Rebecca
Olatunji Ayodele Rebecca is a Social Entrepreneur, Deaf Advocate, Sign Language Interpreter, and Tutor. She is the founder of CODAH Enterprise where she works to promote the linguistic identity of the Deaf community and foster their inclusion in society. Her passion stir from her experience as a Sister and Child of the Deaf Adults. Rebecca has been working around raising awareness on Sign language while training children across schools in Lagos, parents of the deaf, and their caregivers as well as individuals from several walks of life. She is also passionate about Deaf women's empowerment. Through her work at CODAH ENTERPRISE, she got the 2019 OD impact awards. Rebecca is currently a Global Youth Ambassador (GYA), Changemakerxchange, and Bosch Alumni Network Member. She is also a 30 under 30 OD Changemakers 2020, an alumnus of the Next Economy program 2018, and the Knowles Educational and Charitable Trust for International Leadership (KECTIL), 2017.
Nelson Jovial (Nelson Chukwuemeka Umezurike) is one the few Deafies who are Established Techprenuer. Nelson Jovial's professional Experiences covers over 9 years as a System Analyst, Web & App Developer and ICT Consultant. He is the founder Jovial Systems an upcoming Tech Startup that aims to develop Assistive Technological solutions to enable individuals, especially Persons with Disability navigate challenges in the ease of accessing essential services like Education, Healthcare, Transport, Entertainment, etc and with over 30+ local and international clients base who already trusting them with their ICT solutions ranging from Web, software and App development and other ICT related consultancy, Established Business and NGOs. He is a Full Stack Developer of Inclusive News Network which is presently the African most popular Disability News Website, Lead Developer of the Nigerian National Association of the Deaf official website with latest introduction of a Sign Language Relay Service to make it more Accessible to the Deaf and many more. His write-ups has also lead to some successful legal pursuit in some Deaf related advocacy. When Nelson is not in anyway running his business, he is like somewhere in the nearest cuisine sampling food, or traveling to the nearest beach.
Ayoade Beyioku-Alase is a seasoned Deaf activist and a teacher with over 15 years’ experience. He is the head of department (Mathematics/ICT) at Abuja School for the Deaf Kuje, FCT. He holds a Bachelor of Education in Education Planning and Administration from University of Abuja and he is currently pursuing his Master Degree in Special Education at the University of Jos. Ayoade is a passionate, innovative and solution focused teacher with exceptional creativity, empathy and collaboration in discovering and mentoring Deaf Children & youth. He is heavily involved in the fostering and education of Deaf children in Nigeria. He also is a project developer, a coach, an enthusiastic sports person and a volunteer to several organisations where he has sought to become a voice for the voiceless especially the Deaf. He is currently the Vice Chairman of Abuja Association of the Deaf. Ayoade is married with 4 children.
Douglas Izuchukwu is a student at the University of Ilorin. He studies Library & Information Science. Douglas is an energetic volunteer at different non-governmental organizations as well a Deaf Rights Advocate who is passionate about deaf education and inclusion. Douglas serves as the President of the National Association of Nigerian Deaf Students (NANDS) and Secretary at World Federation of the Deaf Youth Section (WFDYS). He is a positive thinker. He likes writing stories and first-hand news about the happenings in the Deaf community anywhere he travels to, bringing the news of community of Persons with Disability (PwDs) to limelight. He likes interviewing and helping people achieve their goals.
AyoOluwasegun Ajayade Beyioku-Alase
Oluwasegun Ajayi is a Sign Language Interpreter, a business Man with many endearing attributes. He is the founder of Fingers Speaking Nigeria- a business oriented center focuses on providing sign language services to the member of the society with goals of ensuring bridging the communication gap between the Deaf persons and the Hearing counterparts. Mr. Oluwasegun Ajayi has over 21 years of progressive experience in sign language interpreting and has work in the following organization/establishment as Sign Language Interpreter: - Sign Language Interpreter, National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP). 🔷 Sign Language Interpreter, Presidential Task Force on Covid-19 🔷 Sign Language Interpreter, Nigeria Television Authority (NTA) International 🔷 Sign Language Interpreter, Rule of Law and Anticorruption program (ROLAC), British Council 🔷 Sign Language Interpreter-Council of Legal Education, Nigeria Law School, Bwari-Abuja 🔷 Hospital Sign Language Interpreter, IPAS, Health, Access, Right; Abuja 🔷 Personal Assistant to the Governing Council Member (SW), National Commission for Person with Disability (NCPWD) Mr. Oluwasegun Ajayi hail from Ilesha, Osun State, South West Nigeria
Patience Etim is a sign language interpreter, MC/ Presenter, social worker, Mentor and mobilizer. She is a peer educator with Afri- care and the Project Officer of Deaf Women Aloud Initiative. She holds a diploma in Software Engineering at NIIT and a degree in Mass Communication from National Open University of Nigeria. In addition to these, she is a certified court assessor for children. She passionately volunteers her time with Deaf Women Association of Nigeria, Women Friendly Initiative and AbilityPlus She is a passionate sign language user and currently works at the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs.