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KENYA: What sign languages are used in Kenya?

Updated: Mar 13, 2023

This article can help you answer the following questions:


Where is Kenya?


How many Deaf / Hard of Hearing people are in Kenya?

There are an estimated 1,774,400 Deaf and Hard of Hearing in the Kenya.

This percentage is a rough estimation: 3.3% of the general population. Lack of research make estimating these numbers difficult. The World Health Organization estimates 5% of the world population has significant hearing loss. Keep in mind that developing nations typically have a much higher number of Deaf and Hard of Hearing populations.


What sign languages are used in Kenya?

  • Kenyan Sign Language

    • (English: KSL, Swahili: LAK)

Written / spoken languages in Kenya:

  • Bantu

    • Swahili

    • Kikuyu

    • Kamba

    • Luhya

    • Gusii

    • Meru

    • Mijikenda/Giriama

  • Nilotic

    • Dholuo

    • Kalenjin languages

      • Kipsigis

      • Nandi

    • Maasai

    • Turkana

  • Cushitic

    • Somali

    • Oromo

      • Borana

      • Orma

    • Rendille

  • Semitic

    • Arabic

  • Indo-European

    • Hindustani

    • English


How do you say Kenya in sign language?


Where can I learn Kenyan sign languages online?

InterSign University offers online Kenyan Sign Language courses. Register here:


What Deaf organizations are located in Kenya?

Central Kenya Region Deaf Development Group

Deaf Community Development And Relief Service

Deaf Youth of Kenya

Development of Deaf Opportunity International (DDOI)

Description: Provides information on deafness for people in Kenya. Last updated in 2007. Lists some deaf organizations and deaf schools in Kenya

Kenya Deaf Welfare Society

Description: The Kenya Deaf Welfare Society is a charitable organization with the main objective of empowering deaf people in Kenya.

Kenya Federation of Deaf Teachers

Description: This grassroots deaf organizations works to develop sign language; promote HIV/AIDS awareness to deaf people; and caters to the welfare of Deaf women in Kenya.

Description: KSLIA is working toward establishing a training program and certification process for its membership. Its mission is to elevate the standards of sign language interpreting in Kenya.

Kenya Sign Language Research Project (KSLRP)

Kenya Society for Deaf Children (KSDC)

Description: The oldest organization in Kenya working with deaf children.

Description: Delivers HIV and sexual and reproductive health services to groups with special needs including survivors of sexual violence, deaf people, men who have sex with men, youth, and sex workers. The manager who works with the deaf community is Washington Opiyo Sati.

Makena Deaf Women Initiative

National Federation of Deaf Women Empowerment Network Kenya

Nyeri Deaf Self Help Group

Nairobi Association of the Deaf

Nairobi Family Support Services (NFSS)

National Children in Need Network

Mobile: 0722 310 178

Regional Deaf Youth Awareness Project

Description: To enhance awareness, prevention, support levels, and participatory skills of the Deaf community towards informed choices on sexual health. Via their website, you can download the Deaf Peer’s Education Manual (PDF format, 6.4 Mb), which can be used to educate deaf people about sexual issues and HIV/AIDS.

Sense International (East Africa)

Description: Sense International works with deafblind people in developing countries so they can communicate, connect, interact, and flourish. Its East Africa office works with partner organizations in Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda.

Source: Gallaudet


Additional sign language resources for Kenya

We will update this section as more information becomes available.

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