Bernice Adekeye Oyeleke: Ability in Disability, Being Loud About the Deaf Is A Must

Bernice Oyeleke, born in 1989, is a passionate educational leader, NGO founder and author, promoting deaf education in Nigeria. Becoming deaf as a SS1 teenager brought challenges to a young Bernice, having to face the uphill task of communicating with her peers, family and society at large. For someone of such a reserved nature, she was a person of interest to everyone around her.

She is passionate about the restricted access to education the hearing impaired and deaf have faced over the years. Being someone who herself had challenges accessing quality education, she has dedicated herself to speaking out about the disability so that more people can be intentional about changing their perception towards deaf persons.

In her community, rather than accept the reality of being deaf, many people still resort to seeking spiritual help and may even deny the existence of such reality all together. Bernice decided to invest her time by establishing her non-governmental organisation, Luminous Deaf Scholastic Initiative (LUDESI) to promote the cause of the deaf. She is also the National Treasurer of the Deaf Teachers Association of Nigeria (DTAN), as well as Chairwoman of the Planning Committee of National Quiz Competition for Deaf Students.

LUDESI is geared towards educational development of Deaf students through programs such as quiz competition titled ‘National Literary Competition for Deaf’ for the deaf among other outreaches. She is a staff of the Federal Ministry of Education as her NGO focuses on the projections to boost the academic morale of the deaf students; to alleviate the effects of limited opportunity to participate in extra-curricular activities that deafness imposes on the same students.

Bernice Adekeye Oyeleke is a graduate Special Education from University of Ibadan where she obtained her bachelor [2011] and masters degrees, graduating at the top of the class.

In 2020 Bernice released ‘LUMINOUS’, an autobiographic novel. In August of that year, Bernice was also recognised by the Society of Young Nigerians as Young Female Writer of the month and awarded Deaf Women Breaking Barriers by CODAH Enterprise. She is a columnist for the Inclusive News Network..

She is the recipient of Her Abilities Award 2020 winner in the Health and Education category. She was the winner of the Society of Young Writers in August 2020