Dr. Emmanuel Asonye, a visiting research scholar and assistant professor of Africana Studies at UNM, is creating language access for the linguistically and culturally marginalized African diaspora in the southwest and African countries. In this video, Asonye shares his journey with deaf language and how it took him to start his most recent project, creating the first online and offline dictionary of indigenous Nigerian Sign Language(s).
During his career in communication and linguistics, Asonye took himself as a double agent as an activist and research scholar to alleviate the communication gap. “One of the things we are trying to create now is a sign language platform that is going to house the indigenous sign languages that we are documenting, so both the deaf children and their families will have access . […] We are going to distribute the materials to the families that have deaf children that do not have language access.”