DVLA launches policy for PWDs in Accra
A policy that would from hence allow physically challenged and hearing impaired persons to drive automobiles across the country has been launched in Accra yesterday.
It provides that some category of persons with disability (PWDs) be issued with a driver’s licence upon passing training, testing and satisfying conditions prescribed by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA).
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the DVLA, Kwasi Agyeman Busia, launched the document at the second Disability Inclusion Summit on the theme; “Achieving sustainable dignified life for PWDs-The role and contributions of stakeholders.”
The summit which brought together key players in the disability inclusion agenda gave the opportunity for stakeholders to share progress, contributions and challenges towards ensuring that PWDs live a well dignified life.
Mr Busia explained that the “DVLA Policy for Training and Testing of PWDs” was in line with the PWD Act, 2006 (Act 715) and other international treaties that promotes the rights and inclusion of PWDs.
He said, it was underpinned by the principles of non-discrimination, diversity and inclusiveness.
Per the policy, driver training institutions certified by the DVLA to provide specialised training for PWDs would have to own adapted vehicles for training activities or do so with applicants own adapted vehicles.
“In furtherance, specialist driving/riding instructors will be trained and certified to train PWDs on the required skill for driving or riding.
The DVLA service process has been simplified significantly to make it easy for all our customers to access our services and particularly for PWDs, a much shorter process has been outlined to reduce turn-around time,” the CEO added.
Mr Busia assured that as the Authority continues to innovate, “very soon, any other person with disability may also acquire a driver’s licence once they have been assessed by a team of professionals appointed by the National Council on PWDs and accepted by the DVLA.”
The Deputy Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Francisca Oteng, expressed government’s commitment to promulgating and implementing policies to ensure the rights of persons with disabilities are upheld and respected.
She mentioned ongoing works on the PWD Bill, 2022 to align with international standards, sensitisation of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies on theGhana Accessibility Standards for the built environment as well as the review of the guidelines for the management and disbursement of the District Assembly Common Fund for PWDs, to tighten loose ends for effective, efficient and economic use of the funds.
Ms Oteng urged members of the public to who seek the interest of persons with disabilities as the country strive to leave no one behind in building an inclusive society.
The Chairman of the Governing Board of the National Council on Persons with Disability, Mr Yaw Ofori Debrah said in view of emerging technologies, the world was advancing in promoting inclusion across all levels of society and “Ghana must accelerate efforts towards a more inclusive and accessible future for all.”
Meanwhile, as part of the summit, a “National Disability Inclusive Disaster Risk Management Guidelines” which seeks to prioritise PWDs in emergency and risk response measures as well as a National Directory for Inclusive Education under the Ghana Education Service, was launched.
BY ABIGAIL ANNOH