Deaf cultures and Sign Languages of the world: Ethiopia (indigenous name for Ethiopia)

Created 10 April 2000, links updated monthly with the help of LinkAlarm.

Ethiopian flag David Bar-TzurEthiopian flag

map of Ethiopia

Flag: World flag database.
Map: - "search" for country, then "Digital Map Graphics"). OR
Map: Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection.

For a quick, interesting resource for facts about this and other countries,
try Mystic Planet - The New Age directory of Planet Earth.

Note: A flag next to a link shows what language the website is in. If it is followed by this icon: (video camera: This links to a video), it is a video in that spoken language. If it is followed by this icon: Sign Language icon, it is in the sign language of that country. If a globe is followed by this hands icon, there is an animated text in International Gesture.

Deaf culture Deaf education & youth Deaf health Deaf history and current events Ethiopian Sign Language
Ethiopian Sign Language dictionaries Organizations Religion & Deafness

Deaf culture

Ethiopia Deaf directory.

Deaf education & youth

Alfa Special School for the Deaf in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia was founded by Lutheran missionaries in the early 1960�s. Currently, there are about 200 Deaf or hard of hearing students between the ages of 4 and 25 years of age attending Alpha. Though the school has classes only through the eighth grade, some older students continue to attend vocational classes due to the lack of higher educational institutions that will meet their needs. Other students discontinue their education prematurely because they must find work or beg for money or food in order to help their families survive. The opportunity to make a difference in the lives of the poorest of the poor is readily apparent.

Deaf Africa. Our desire to support the children at Alpha Special School for the Deaf was the impetus to the creation of Deaf Africa Association. The classroom walls were so blank and barren compared to the abundance of visual teaching aids often seen in most classrooms for Deaf children in the United States. Their clever ability to recycle all materials was encouraging, however, it hurt to see such a scarcity of teaching supplies.

NDCS. (2006, September 1).Vocational Training for Deaf Students. In Ethiopia, there is generally very little opportunity for deaf children and young deaf people once they have left primary school. The majority will not be able to attend secondary school and very few will find a job. This vocational training project in Robe aims to address some of these issues and provide young deaf people with the skills necessary to become independent and contributing members of society. This project also concentrates on issues of sustainability as students are expected to support other young deaf people once they have found a job.

Deaf health

DeafTODAY. (2004, Spetember 3). The Deaf Association in preventing HIV/Aids. Nigat Ethiopia Deaf Association for prevention of AIDS has faced great obstacle in preventing and controlling HIV/AIDS and bringing awareness to the Deaf Society due to stigmatization, discrimination and ignorance.

Deaf history and current events

Miles, M. (2005). Deaf people living and communication in African histories, c. 960s - 1960s. There is strong documentary evidence that deaf or hearing impaired men and women, girls and boys, did occupy social space and took roles across the full spectrum of life throughout Africa in earlier centuries, living lives like everyone else and also having some different experiences. Traces and signs of deaf people appear in many sorts of historical document, such as travellers' accounts, legal and genealogical records, government, institutional and missionary archives, linguistic studies, literature, folklore, religious narrative, mime, dance and drama. Many of their experiences have involved severe economic poverty and adversity, stigmatising attitudes and exclusionary practices; yet this has not been the norm everywhere in Africa, and many deaf people have shown great resilience, perseverance, humour and ingenuity in their dealings and communications with the non-deaf world.

Ethiopian Sign Language

(23 November 2006). ETHIOPIA: SIGN LANGUAGE IN ETHIOPIA STILL AT INFANT STAGE. The status of sign language usage, inclusive in deaf students' education package in Ethiopian, is very poor, according to a research presented at a workshop on Friday (17 November 2006) under the theme 'Inclusive education and educational problems of the deaf.'

Ethiopian Sign Language: A language of Ethiopia.

-->International bibliography of sign language. --> Click on "E", then on "Ethiopian Sign Language".

SignPuddle. Literature Ethiopia.

Ethiopian Sign Language dictionaries

Bar-Tzur, D. Indigenous signs for cities: Ethiopia.

Fingeralphabet Ätiopien (Ethiopian fingerspelling).

SignPuddle. Dictionary Ethiopia.


Ethiopian National Association of the Deaf.

World Federation of the Deaf membership information: Ethiopian National Association of the Deaf (ENAD). Contact info only. Click on "C-E" and scroll down to the country name.

Religion & Deafness

Crosslinks MP Merritt. The Ethiopian Evangelical Church, Mekane Yesus, opened a boarding school in Hosanna in 1982, when there were only two day schools teaching deaf children in the country. Jenny, a teacher of the deaf, taught at Hosanna until 1998. In 2001 she moved to be involved in starting a second school in Nekemte, to meet the needs of children in western Ethiopia and to be a training ground for teachers of the deaf.