The Ghana National Association of the Deaf (GNAD) has urged government to implement the Persons with Disability (PWD) Act, Act 715 to ensure that their rights are fully protected and guaranteed.
The Association said the hearing impaired faced physical abuse and discrimination in schools, at the work places and health centres among others but were unable to seek justice as a result of the ineffective implementation of the PWDs Act and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD).
Mr. Juventus Duorinaah, the Programmes Manager of GNAD, made this known in Wa during a stakeholders engagement forum aimed at building the capacity of the hearing impaired to demand their fundamental human rights.
Mr. Duorinaah said in a survey which covered 102 hearing impaired persons drawn from Wa, Bolgatanga,Tamale and Winneba, 81.40 per cent of the responders said they had copies of the PWD Act, while 77.30 said they had read the Act.
This, he said, was not encouraging enough because every Person with Disability especially the Deaf ought to have knowledge about the Act and how to demand these fundamental rights.
The survey also revealed that 8.80 per cent of the hearing impaired in the basic schools, 26.4per cent in the Senior High Schools and 14.40per cent in the tertiary institutions had received orientation on the PWD Act, while 61.8per cent had heard about the UNCRPD.
Mr. Duorinaah identified low level of education and difficulty in understanding complicated text as some of the challenges hindering the hearing impaired from having adequate knowledge about the PWDs Act and the UNCRPD.
He therefore called on all stakeholders such as the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), the media as well as the private sector and well-meaning Ghanaians to support the hearing impaired to achieve justice when the need arises.
Mr. Duorinaah also urged the CHRAJ and the NCCE as well as all institutions mandated to educate the public on their civic rights to extend their education to the hearing impaired.
Madam Akua Zakaria, the Wa Municipal Director, National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), acknowledged that her outfit had faulted in reaching out to the hearing impaired to educate them on their civic rights and responsibility.
She gave the assurance that the Commission would reconsider its schedules to ensure that no segment of the society was left out in its subsequent outreach activities.
Representatives from the CHRAJ, NCCE, Judicial Service, and the Head of the Wa School for the Deaf among others attended the forum, which was organised by the GNAD with financial support from the United States based Disability Right Fund.