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Former WDL scholar elected president of Mali National Association of the Deaf

Former WDL scholar elected president of Mali National Association of the Deaf

The following was written by Todd Byrd.

Former Gallaudet-Nippon World Deaf Leadership (WDL) Scholar Dana Diarra, ’15, has been elected president of the Mali National Association of the Deaf (AMASOURDS).

The election took place at a November 4, 2017, General Assembly held at the headquarters of the Malian Federation of Disabled People in Bamako, Mali.

Serving as president of AMASOURDS fulfills one of Diarra's goals as a WDL scholar -- return to Mali after graduation to advocate for the rights of deaf people and others with disabilities. In 2015, Diarra earned a B.A. in government and international studies under the mentorship of Dr. David Penna, chair of the Department of Government and Public Affairs. He returned to Mali thereafter and took an active role in meeting his second goal: establishing Mali's first high school for deaf people. Diarra's passion for teaching and sign language will surely lead to him achieving his final goal -- to develop a comprehensive dictionary and materials on Malian Sign Language, and to make LaSiMa (Malian Sign Language) a required curriculum policy in all Deaf schools.

Accomplishments such as this are a testament to the promise that WDL scholars hold in making life better for deaf people in developing countries. While pursuing his Gallaudet education, Diara expressed his appreciation for being chosen as a WDL scholar in these words: "I am profoundly grateful to the Nippon Foundation and Gallaudet University for providing me this great opportunity to pursue my lifelong goals to engage and support the Deaf community in Mali in our struggle for better education, work, and social access, and to preserve Malian Sign Language."

Posted by Todd Byrd | Posted February 5, 2018 at 2:08 PM

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Gallaudet

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Washington, DC 20002