Source: GNA - The Ghana National Association of the Deaf (GNAD) at this year’s International day of the Deaf has advocated for equal access to justice for its members across the country.
The National President of the Association, Mr Sampana Robert, made the call at Bolgatanga to mark the Day, which was on the theme, “Recognition of Ghanaian Sign Language, a Human Right Issue.”

Mr Sampana, who lamented the marginalisation of the deaf when it came to accessing justice, employment and health, among other rights, called on policy makers and the government to take measures to reverse the negative trend.

The National President expressed regret that some Municipal and District Assemblies (MDAs) refused to support them to embark upon activities such as the Global Celebration Week of the Deaf.

He said the Association could not undertake certain activities earmarked for the celebration because of lack of funding and appealed to the Assemblies and other benevolent organisations to go to their aid. 

The Regional Director of the National Commission for Civic Education, Mr Pontius Pilate Apaabey Baba, explained that per the Constitution, everybody was entitled to equal rights such as the right to employment, justice and health.

Whilst commending the Association for drawing the attention of the Government to their plight, he urged the members to continue to advocate and promised that the Commission would continue to educate the society on the need to respect the deaf.

The Regional Director of the Department of Social Welfare, Mr Hamadu Haruna, who was the Guest Speaker for the occasion, called on the government to ensure that the Ghana Education Service and other stakeholders introduced the Sign Language in the education curricula institutions which trained nurses, teachers, medical practitioners and social workers to give those who interact and serve the hearing impaired the skills to reach out to them better.

He quoted Article 24 section 36 of the UN Convention on the Right of Persons with disabilities, which mandated governments to facilitate the sign language and the formation of the Linguistic identity of the deaf community.

“There is nothing more humiliating and frustrating than to deny deaf persons the spoken information going around them,” Mr Haruna stressed.

The Regional Director, however, called on the Association to form a formidable association and be resolute in their struggle to restore their human dignity themselves.

The International Week Celebration was instituted in 1958 in Rome, Italy, by the World Federation of the Deaf to create awareness about the challenges and the right of the deaf.


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