Journal of
Languages and Culture

  • Abbreviation: J. Lang. Cult.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-6540
  • DOI: 10.5897/JLC
  • Start Year: 2010
  • Published Articles: 131

Full Length Research Paper

Ethiopian sign language and educational accessibility for the deaf community: A case study on Jimma, Nekemte, Addis Ababa and Hawasa towns

Chimdi Wakuma
  • Chimdi Wakuma
  • Jimma University, Collage of Social Sciences and Humanities, Department of Afan Oromo and Literature, Ethiopia.
  • Google Scholar

  •  Received: 08 November 2014
  •  Accepted: 03 March 2015
  •  Published: 31 March 2015


In comparison with the large number of population they have, the deaf community have not been given due attention in terms of education in Ethiopia. This was the main problem that initiated the researcher to conduct research on this area. The general objective of this study is to assess the educational accessibility of Ethiopian Sign Language for the deaf community. The research is a qualitative one and it was based on interviews and discussions made through interpreters’ assistance. Deaf students, deaf students’ teachers and Zone Educational Bureaus Officers were study participants. The study is important in indicating the relevancy needed for educating people who are deaf and with hard hearing. The findings of the study indicate that deaf education in Ethiopia is characterized by absence of enough schools for the deaf and with information gap on the access of deaf education.


Key words: Sign language, Ethiopian sign language, sign language education, sign dialects, mutual intelligibility.