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


Indigenous signs for "Malawi"

Illustrations in the literature

"Malawi" (In: Japanese Federation of the Deaf ed. Supervisor: Hedberg, Tomas. 2003. Country name-signs. Helsinki, Finland: World Federation of the Deaf. 101.)

Spoken languages



Sign languages

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 government recognises the country's sign language(s) in : the Policy.

2. The year when the country’s government formally recognises the country’s sign language(s): 2006.

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

Organizations and associations of the Deaf/deaf

Malawi National Association of the Deaf (MANAD) (WFD member; established in 1992. (WFD. 2008. Global Survey Report. : See Bibliography below.))

Institutes, associations and universities for sign language studies

Education for the Deaf

Changing relationships between special and mainstream schools in Malawi

Embangweni School for the Hard of Hearing

Deaf Children with Additional Disabilities in Developing Countries : Malawi

  • 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:

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)
Secondary (From 12/13 years old to 17/18 years old)
University (After 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:

Four Deaf Schools
Oral Method

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

Two Universities.
No sign language interpreting service.

Sign language interpretation

  • A sign language interpreter from this country participated in WASLI 2011 conference in Durban, South Africa (from WASLI Sponcorship Programme 2011, see 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:

11 Interpreters

2. Sign language interpreting qualifications.


3.The provier of the sign language interpreting services:

National Association of the Deaf

4.The area of life sign language interpreting services are available:

Social Services
Health/Medical Services
Court Services
Counselling Services
Financial Institutions

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

Sign language interpreters do not receive any payment for interpreting services

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

Malawi: the deaf want voice heard

Deaf Children with Additional Disabilities in Developing Countries : Malawi

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)).


WASLI (World Association of Sign Language Interpreters). 2011. WASLI Sponsorship Programme 2011. Kampala, UGANDA.

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

Hara, Michael B. 1991. The desirable content of the training of teachers of the deaf. In: Partnership Between Deaf People and Professionals. Proceedings of a Conference held ... August 1991 ... Rabat, Malta, arranged by Initiatives for Deaf Education in the Third World, in co-operation with the National Commission for the Handicapped, Malta. 1991. Valletta: Ministry of Society Policy, Malta. 88-89.

Meeuws, Brother Hortensius. 1989. The Development of Education for the Deaf in Malawi. Montford Press.

Mumba B.J. 1974. Language and speech. In: Problems of Deafness in the Newer World. Proceedings of a seminar convened by the Commonwealth Society for the Deaf at the University of Sussex, September 9-20, 1974. 39-40. Occasional Paper No. XXXIV. London: Commonwealth Foundation.

Hara, Michael B. 1972. A teacher's experiences. In: Proceedings of the Seminar on Deafness. Accra, September 1972. London: Commonwealth Society for the Deaf. 31-33.

Meeuws, Brother Hortensius. 1972. A training program for teachers of the deaf in Malawi. In: Proceedings of the Seminar on Deafness. Accra, September 1972. London: Commonwealth Society for the Deaf. 28-31.

Meeuws, Brother Hortensius. 1972. Education for the Deaf in Malawi. In: School Building and Design in the Commonwealth. London: Commonwealth Secretariat. 56-58.

Drummond A. 1968. Survey of Deafness in Malawi. London: Commonwealth Foundation for the Deaf.


History of sign language research



Deaf cultures and Sign Languages of the world: Malawi

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