About Us

The Nigerian National Association of the Deaf (NNAD) is a not-for-profit Association of and for the Deaf in Nigeria. It was registered in Abuja, Nigeria in August 1992, with its headquarters in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory. It is an affiliate member of the World Federation of the Deaf (WFD) with voting rights and privileges at the World General Assembly of the World Congress of the World Federation of the Deaf.

The Nigerian National Association of the Deaf is the apex organization of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing people in Nigeria, the aims and objectives of which are basically to promote and advance the rights of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing people. It is the bona fide amalgam and umbrella body of all the various Deaf organizations that dot the many states of the Federation, including Abuja.

Available records show that Nigerian National Association of the Deaf started as Nigerian Association for the Advancement of the Deaf (NAAD) in Ibadan in 1972. The idea for the formation of this Association came from the late Dr. Andrew Foster of fragrant memory. Further records show that Dr. Foster put his idea into action by writing a letter to all Deaf Persons in Nigeria in 1971, calling for a meeting in Ibadan. The result of that clarion call was a meeting of Deaf Nigerians which took place on April 13, 1972. Election of officers was held and Emmanuel Ilabor emerged the President of NAAD with Samuel Adesina as Secretary. Dr. Foster was appointed Patron and Adviser. Beyond this, not much else is known about NAAD.

Dr. Andrew Foster is credited with introducing Sign Language and Education for the Deaf into West Africa and beyond. Dr. Foster was born in Alabama in 1925, and had the distinction of being the first Deaf African-American to graduate from Gallaudet University (the only University for the Deaf in the World) in 1954. His success at Gallaudet began a trend of Deaf African-Americans succeeding at Gallaudet.

In Nigeria, Dr. Foster found schools for the Deaf where deaf students could, for the first time, learn in Sign Language. Some of these Deaf students, with Dr. Foster’s support, were able to go to Gallaudet for further education, to the extent of earning doctorate degrees.

On their return to Nigeria, these Deaf elites saw the need to bring Deaf people together under a platform from which they could advocate for the advancement and cause of Deaf Nigerians. Thus in 1974, Nigerian Association of the Deaf (NAD) was established, with most of the recipients of Dr. Foster’s education being founding members and executives of NAD. However, because the ideals of NAD were seen to be imported (they argued that NAD reflected American ideal) rather than indigenous, there was a general consensus and NNAD was birthed in 1986; its headquarters then was Ilorin, Kwara State, base of the founding president in person of Dr. Gabriel Adepoju.

At this point, NNAD was not legally incorporated at the Corporate Affairs Commission until 1992 when it was formally registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission under the Companies and allied matter with registration number: CAC/6/INCT/06775 on 6th August, 1992.