LAUNCH OF POLICY FOR TRAINING AND TESTING OF DRIVERS WITH DISABILITIES
The Ghana National Association of the Deaf (GNAD) is thrilled to announce that the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection and Ministry of Roads in collaboration with the National Council on Persons with Disabilities have on today, 22nd February 2023, jointly launched the Drivers and Vehicle Licensing Authority’s (DVLA) Policy for Training and Testing of Drivers with Disabilities. The Policy which was launched on the occasion of the 2nd National Disability Summit at the Shippers Authority is the outcome of long years of advocacy efforts by stakeholders, with the GNAD as key organization.
Built on five guiding principles, privilege as against right, diversity & inclusiveness, non-discrimination, full and effective participation and disability mainstreaming, and consistent with the Persons with Disability Act 715 and the United National Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD), the overall goal of the Policy for Training and Testing of Drivers with Disabilities is to eliminate discrimination in the acquisition of driving license by persons with disabilities.
Background to the Policy
Ghana, like other countries in the world, has rules and regulations on the operation of vehicles. Before a person can operate a vehicle, the person must be assessed, certified, and issued a driving license, permitting the person to operate a vehicle, whether for commercial or private purposes.
Regrettably, a population of 470,737 with various degree of hearing loss in Ghana, according to the 2021 Population and Housing Census, cannot acquire driving licenses in the absence of a policy for training and testing of drivers with disabilities. This is because Ghana initial had no policy on how potential drivers who are deaf and hard of hearing can be assessed and issued with driving licenses. The denial of deaf people to own driving license thus means denial of their right to drive on our roads.
The launch of the policy is therefore welcoming news for the deaf community as it will provide a regulatory framework for the DVLA to test, train, and issue driving licenses for potential drivers with disabilities as well assisting the law enforcement agencies in Ghana to ensure safety on our roads.
As the National Association of the Deaf, the GNAD wishes to state that the launch of the Policy for Training and Testing of Drivers with Disabilities is a step in the right direction as it will go a long way to promote social inclusion for deaf people, improve on their mobility, and create opportunities for participation in society.
While we express our sincere thanks to the government and the DVLA, the GNAD wishes to use this opportunity to call on other state institutions to emulate this bold and unprecedent step taken by the DVLA to formulate non-discrimination policies that will facilitate equal access to public services for persons with disabilities in accordance with the UNCRPD.
In particular, we call on the Ministry of Local Government to, in partnership with the Ghana Health Services and other relevant agencies, come out with an all-inclusive policy which will ensure that all Metropolitan/Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) employ qualified sign language interpreters who will provide services for deaf people at all settings, such as hospitals/healthcare center’s, and national and local program’s and activities.
We wish to congratulate the CEO of DVLA and his team, Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection and the Ministry of Roads, the Board and Executive Secretary of National Council for Persons with Disabilities, GFD, CSOs and the media for their support in the past years. We are most grateful to the Danish Deaf Association (DDL) for their continuous support throughout the journey and for serving as a spring board for GNAD to lean on.
ABOUT GHANA NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF THE DEAF
The GNAD is the national organization of deaf people in Ghana. The GNAD is the mouthpiece of deaf people and works to ensure that every deaf person in Ghana enjoys the right to a life of dignity. The GNAD seeks to achieve an active and productive deaf community with access to education and information and steady economic activities that can sustain and maintain good quality of life. The GNAD achieves its vision through mobilizing of members, removing communication barriers, creating awareness on deaf issues, and advocating for equal opportunities for the deaf community.
The GNAD is registered with the Registrar General Department and Social Welfare. The association is affiliated to the World Federation of the Deaf (WFD) (the largest International Non-Governmental organization), West and Central Africa Secretariat of the WFD, Ghana Federation of Disability Organizations (GFD) and the host organization for WFD West and Central Africa Secretariat transnational Capacity Building Project.
For further details or call for interview, please contact; The National President or Executive Director
Ghana National Association of the Deaf
P.O. Box AN-7908, Accra-North,
Office Loc: Accra Rehabilitation Centre, Barnes Road opposite National Museum, Adabraka, Accra,
Telephone: +233 (0) 302 680100/0208764407
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