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


Indigenous signs for "Gabon"

sign for Gabon

Spoken languages


Sign languages

Francophone African Sign Language

Related sign languages:

French Sign Language

American Sign Language

Population of Deaf/deaf people

The National Government’s official number of Deaf people : 2,000. National Deaf Groups in Gabon's official or approximate number of Deaf people: 2,000. (WFD. 2008. Global Survey Report. : See Bibliography below.)

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

National Deaf Groups in Gabon

1. Association of Deaf-Mutes of Gabon - 1985

2. National Association of Late-Deafened of Gabon - 1991

3. National Association of the Deaf-Mutes of Gabon- 1997

4. National Association for the Total Redemption of the Deaf in Gabon - 2002

(WFD. 2008. Global Survey Report. : See Bibliography below.)

Institutes, associations and universities for sign language studies

Education for the deaf

  • 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:

The law Support for Handicapped People

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

Early intervention (Up to 5 years old)
Kindergarten (Between 3/4 years old to 5/6 years old)
Primary (From 5/6 years old to 12/13 years old)

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:

1 public Deaf school, 2 private Deaf schools
Oral and Sign Language (Total Communication)

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

None, because of political lack of will.

Sign language interpretation

  • 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:

14 Interpreters

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
Others: Associations pay salaries and ensure that transportation to the interpreters to every demonstration

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


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

7.National Association of Sign Language Interpreters:


8.National Code of Ethics for sign language interpreters:


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

Ahoe, Abou. 1999. "Benin Hosts Visitors from Gabon Observes Week of the Deaf." WFD News 12(1): April 1999. 30.

Religious activities by the Deaf

Famous Deaf persons and hearing persons concerned with sign languages

Sign language dictionaries

The country does not have a sign language dictionary ( WFD. 2008. Global Survey Report. (See Bibliography below)).


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.

Kamei, Nobutaka. 2006. Liberty of sign language in the development process: A paradox of language liberty of the Deaf and the economic affluence. In: World Trend (Institute of Developing Economies). 135 (December 2006): 16-19.

Kamei, Nobutaka. 2006. The Birth of Langue des Signes Franco-Africaine : Creole ASL in West and Central French-Speaking Africa. In Sign Language Communication Studies (Japan Institute for Sign Language Studies, Japanese Federation of the Deaf) 59(2006.03):67-68.[ Report of the session at the 104th Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association, Washington DC Dec. 1. 2005 7:45 PM–9:30 PM. "Endangered World Languages : Sign Languages and Their Variations". Including information of Benin, Cameroon and Gabon ]

Kamei, Nobutaka. 2006. History of Deaf people and sign languages in Africa: Fieldwork in the "kingdom" derived from Andrew J. Foster. Tokyo: Akashi Shoten. [2007 JASID Award for Excellent Work by Young Researchers, Japan Society for International Development, November 2007].

Kamei, Nobutaka. 2005. The Deaf in Africa (10) Teacher training by the Deaf Foster generation of today. In:Sign Language Communication Studies(Japan Institute for Sign Language Studies, Japanese Federation of the Deaf) 57(2005.09):41-47.


History of sign language research



Deaf cultures and Sign Languages of the world: Gabon


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