Meeting kicked off from 3-5 pm. The main agenda of the meeting was for all parties involved to be on the same page so all can go smoothly together along that week when speaking and convincing stakeholders.
The attendance of the meeting were Chief of Staff Heather Harker, Wesley VC – Sunday Ukachukwu, Dean Khadijat Rashid, Project manager Amanda Mueller, NNAD National Secretary General (NSG) – Chidi Olujie, Executive Director Charles Reilly, and two interpreters.
In the meeting, The main Agenda generally focused on establishing Deaf University in Nigeria. The Vice Chancellor Wesley Unversity suggests we start from somewhere, and he wants it to be within Wesley university first. The NNAD NSG proposed and emphasized that Gallaudet University should start a classroom as a model at Welsey University in summer (June/July) in Nigeria. Then NNAD will use it as sample and visibility to the stakeholders as they said seeing is believing, all agreed and supported.
Heather Harker and Project manager Amanda Mueller reminded the house that the goal of Deaf University is to be signing community, entirely Deaf friendly and readily accessible, and something completely different from deaf programs within a hearing university.
The VC Wesley University committed to providing the space while Gallaudet University will provide the resources that will make proposed classroom sample to be more Deaf friendly, accessible and Deaf experiences (Gallaudet experiences) for the Deaf. Both Wesley VC and Dean Kubby discussed and outlined the timetable in summer 2020 in Nigeria. We also discussed the kind of contents we want them to provide. We have not concluded on this yet.
UPDATE on Feb 5th, 2020
**After breakfast. NNAD and its Partners had a presentation about Deaf space by Mr. Derrick Behm, who is Adjunct Professor (Powerpoint pictures attached via Gallery)
**Classroom: Outlining the setup of deaf-friendly and deaf space.
– Two projectors, space, visibility, interpreters (for deaf-blind).
– The purpose of the classroom show is for adequate understanding of what it means to be Deaf space.
**Panel Discussion and luncheon at Multipurpose Room (MPR): where all stakeholders gathered together with Deaf African Community members from Gallaudet, Washington DC, and Nigerian stakeholders Made up of;
– Gallaudet Deaf students
– Deaf members
– Nigerian stakeholders
– NNAD Representative
**Umar lectured about English Language Institute. He teaches English language as a second language, it’s for those who have no knowledge of English as adults e.g Deaf from other countries who don’t read and write English as the first language, and also those who want to develop good English, etc. and it helped a lot of Deaf in the past. (pic will be posted)
**Presentation on the Office of students with disabilities (OSWD) by Ms. Karen Terhune.
**Presentation on Disaster Mitigation, Deaf Leadership, Adaptation, and Resilience by Dr. Audrey Cooper.
UPDATE on Feb 7th, 2020
**Visitation to Laurent Clerc, National deaf education center. Presentation on families and early intervention.
**Visitation to the patent-infant program. The purpose of this was to show the importance of giving early education to Deaf babies and how to go about it.
** Visitation to an audiological office on identifying babies with hearing status.
** The presentation on Gallaudet innovation and entrepreneurship by Mr. Kojo Amissah. And Mr. Ryan Maliazwwshi.
ROUND TABLE DISCUSSION
We had a round table discussion with Nigerian stakeholders and GU president and teams on the last day.
Here is the summary of the discussion:
1. GU teams will visit Nigeria during summer to start a pilot model e.g classroom.
2. GU teams work with NNAD to continue advocacy in Nigeria when they visit.
3. USAID is set to support with funds to train teachers of the Deaf children.
4. Nigerian government is set to support with funds to document Nigerian Sign Language
5. To do documentation of Nigerian sign language, GU promised to link Deaf linguistics to guide.
6. Nigerian stakeholders are thinking of sponsoring two Deaf Nigerians who are interested to study linguistic in GU and come back home to continue supporting NSL.
7. GU and USAID advocated that Deaf should always be at the front to lead that’s where NNAD comes in.
8. They advised that NNAD should always be included in whatever decision we make relating to Deaf affairs.