Democratic Republic of the Congo


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Basic information of the country/area
Name of the country/area Democratic Republic of the Congo
Formal name of the country/area Democratic Republic of the Congo
Country/area information The World Factbook (CIA)
Wikipedia (English)


Indigenous signs for "Democratic Republic of the Congo"

Spoken languages


Sign languages

Congolese Sign Language

Related sign languages:

French Sign Language

Population of Deaf/deaf people

Legal status of sign languages

  • Status of the National Sign Language(s) from WFD. 2008. Global Survey Report. (See Bibliography below).

1. The country’s government does not formally recognise the country’s sign language(s).

2. Deaf Association/Deaf Group lobbies the government for the recognition of the country’s sign language(s)

Organizations and associations of the Deaf/deaf

  • Association Nationale des Sourds du Congo / National Association of the Deaf of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (WFD member; established in 1988. (WFD. 2008. Global Survey Report. : See Bibliography below.))

Institutes, associations and universities for sign language studies

Education for the Deaf

Deaf Students Come to Life through Sign Language

Global Deaf Connection work in DR Congo

  • Access to Education from WFD. 2008. Global Survey Report. (See Bibliography below).

1.The government recognizes that Deaf children and Deaf students have the right to receive an education.

2.Legislation or policies on Deaf Education:


3.The government provides those educational settings for Deaf children and Deaf students:

Kindergarten (Between 3/4 years old to 5/6 years old)
Primary (From 5/6 years old to 12/13 years old)
Secondary (From 12/13 years old to 17/18 years old)
Vocational Education/Training

4.The government provides bilingual education using the country’s sign language(s) for Deaf children and Deaf students in those educational settings:


5.Total number of schools specifically for Deaf children and Deaf students in the country, and the educational approach for communicating with Deaf children and students at the Deaf School:

56 Deaf Schools
Bilingual Education
Oral Method
Cued Speech
Oral and Sign Language (Total Communication)
Auditory Verbal
Other : There is a mixture of approaches. Some schools use bilingualism and some use oralism (completely spoken language). The government is not yet in support of only one method, but wishes for bilingualism. 

6.Deaf people’s access to a University education and sign language interpreting services at University:


Sign language interpretation

  • There is an association of sign language interpreters in this country. from WASLI Activities Report 2007-2011 (See Bibliography below).
  • Status of Sign Language Interpreting Services from WFD. 2008. Global Survey Report. (See Bibliography below).

1.The number of sign language interpreters in the country:

150 Interpreters for the whole country

2. Sign language interpreting qualifications.


3.The provider of the sign language interpreting services:


4.The payment for interpreting services, and those who are responsible for paying:

Sign language interpreters receive payment for interpreting services
National Association of the Deaf/Deaf Group pays

5.The average hourly rate of payment for sign language interpreters:

Depends on the service.

6.Sign language interpreters sometimes provide voluntary service for sign language interpreting assignments.

7.National Association of Sign Language Interpreters:

Not independent from the National Association of the Deaf

8. National Code of Ethics for sign language interpreters: None

9.Legislation or policy in the country which states that the government has a responsibility for the provision of sign language :


Deaf communities and cultures

Religious activities by the Deaf

Vom Leben Gehorloser in der Demokratischen Republik Kongo

Life of Deaf

Congo RDC. A backup for the deaf and dumb

Famous Deaf persons and hearing persons concerned with sign languages

Sign language dictionaries

Kiombo, Alphonse. 2000. La Langue des Signes Congolaise. Le groupe de recherche en Langue des Signes Congolaise. Kinshasa, Republique Democratique du Congo.

Cornett, David J. 1990. Communiquons avec les sourds. Bandundu, Zaire


WASLI (World Association of Sign Language Interpreters). 2011. WASLI Activities Report 2007-2011. Kampala, UGANDA.

World Federation of the Deaf and Swedish National Association of the Deaf. 2008. Global Survey Report. WFD Regional Secretariat for Western and Central Africa Region (WFD WCAR). Global Education Pre-Planning Project on the Human Rights of Deaf People. World Federation of the Deaf. Finland.

Tellman A. 1972. La situation des sourds en Afrique, en particulier au Zaire, entendre avec les yeux. Geneva: Edition Labor et Spes. Paris: Libraire protestante.


History of sign language research



Deaf cultures and Sign Languages of the world:Congo-Kinshasa (Democratic Republic of the Congo)


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