GNAD Advocates Sign Language Policy

The Ghana National Association of the Deaf (GNAD) has advocated a sign language interpretation policy to cater for the communication needs of deaf people.

It said the absence of such a Policy for the health sector, has made deaf people unable to communicate with primary health care providers, leading to inadequate comprehension of disease management, poor treatment.

Mr. Emmanuel K. Sackey, National President of GNAD, made the call yesterday in Accra, when the association organised a day workshop to deliberate on how it could sensitize the government on the need provide Sign Language Interpreters at the various hospitals in the country.

Mr. Sackey was of the view that the 1992 Constitution, Article 29 clause 6 mandates public institutions to make accessible, appropriate facilities for disabled persons”, including the deaf, hence the absence of the at hospitals was a breach of the constitution.

However he said the constitution had given 2016 as the deadline for all state institutions to accomplish such provision stressing that if the said  date is due and the situation remain the same “we would take to the streets to protest”.

“Many healthcare practitioners have little knowledge in sign language and, therefore, are not able to communicate with deaf people, as a result of this, many deaf people prefer self medication rather than go through frustrations when they attend hospital”.

Mr Sackey called for urgent implementation of the Disability Act Law to ensure that public institution which did not provide appropriate services to disabled persons were  sued.

Mr. James Sambian, Executive Director for GNAD, said institutions which often engaged the services of deaf persons do not pay them.
He was optimistic that when the policy is developed it would enlighten people on the usefulness of sign language.  By Collins Boateng

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