24 May 2019

Ghana: NIA Must Provide Sign Language Interpreters At Registration Centres - Gad President

The President of the Ghana Association of the Deaf (GAD), Mr Matthew Kubachua has called on the National Identification Authority (NIA) to provide sign language interpreters at the various centres across the country to enable its members to partake in the ongoing registration exercise.

Describing the situation as a huge communication barrier, he said it had compelled many persons living with hearing impairment to stay at home.

Mr Kubachua who visited the Ghanaian Times in the early hours of yesterday to register his displeasure, indicated that officers at the various centres were unable to decipher whatever transpires there due to absence of interpreters.

"We are pleading with the authorities to provide sign language interpreters at the centres or bring officials to our office at the Accra Rehabilitation Centre since we have interpreters there who can assist us in the process," he suggested.

Mr Kubachua noted that societal neglect against the deaf was a challenge to their successful integration in the society.

Narrating their ordeal, he said "I feel very bad that our governments both past and present do not consider us when embarking on initiatives for the citizenry."

Recounting his experience at a centre at the Darkuman Official Town, a suburb of Accra, he said "after joining the queue at around 6 am I had to wait until 5pm only to be told to come the next day all because they did not know how to attend to me."

Unlike most of his colleagues, Mr Kabachua can read and write and expressed worry about his colleagues who were unable to do same.

The mass registration and card issuance exercise which began in the Greater Accra Region on Monday, April 29 would be extended to other regions soon.

The authority is targeting to register 85 per cent of the country populace aged 15 years and above which includes persons with hearing impairment.

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