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Deaf persons denied registration for Ghana Card – Members claim

Persons with hearing impairment are allegedly being refused registration for Ghana Card by National Identification Authority (NIA) officials at the various mass registration centres in Accra.

NIA officials at the headquarters are also said to have declined to grant audience to the Ghana National Association of the Deaf (GNAD) to deliberate on how persons with deaf could be registered in the exercise.

GNAD claims some of its members who visited some registration centres in Accra were turned away, and in some cases, registration officials maltreated and spoke to them harshly without provocation.

According to the Association, most of their members have no knowledge whatsoever about the Ghana Card registration exercise, because various commercials publicizing the exercise did not make room for sign languages.

President of GNAD, Matthew Kubachua, on Friday told Bright Kwesi Asempa, host of Onua FM morning show Yen Sempa, that there are no sign language interpreters at the various registration centres.

He is thus calling on the NIA to provide sign language interpreters at the centres to cater for those with hearing impairment in order not to deprive them of their civil right to registration for the Ghana Card.

President Nana Akufo-Addo’s sign interpreter, Robert Frimpong Manso, expressed disappointment over the NIA’s refusal to engage the GNAD on the need to provide sign language interpreters.

“We were not consulted. We even called them later on to prompt them [NIA] but they told us it was too late”, he explained.

According to him deaf persons who showed up at some registration centres to get registered were turned away, noting the affected persons have been venting their frustrations on the executives of GNAD.

“They always come to our offices to enquire why they were not allowed to register. They [NIA] should have contacted the Ghana National Association for the Deaf because we have over 300,000 members per the 2010 population census, so you can imagine”.

By Kweku Antwi-Otoo||Ghana


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