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September 24, 2003

Deaf people have the right to information.

From: GhanaWeb, Ghana - Sep 24, 2003

Accra, Sept. 24, GNA - The government is determined to address problems associated with the physically disabled to ensure that their rights were recognised, Nana Akomea, Minister of Information said on Wednesday.

He said government would assist the disabled to be able to participate fully in various fields of human endeavour. Nana Akomea gave the assurance in a speech read for him at a press conference organized by the Ghana National Association of the Deaf (GNAD) to usher in the celebration of the International Week of the Deaf.

The week long celebration, dubbed "Access To Information For The Deaf", aims to create public awareness in local communities, strengthen solidarity among deaf people and raise concerns about their needs. He said Ghanaians should be concerned with the welfare of the deaf, protect their rights to sign language and give them equal opportunity in all spheres of life to enable them to participate in development programmes.

Nana Akomea said the Ministry was developing information manuals for the disabled since they also had the right to information on issues concerning the nation.

Mr Samuel K. Asare, President of GNAD, said information constituted a major asset in development and called on government to speed up with the development of the information manual so that they could also enjoy their rights.

He said the deaf had been left out in the use of telephones, radio and computers depriving them from accessing vital information. Mr Asare urged the government, the media and the general public to assist the deaf in the fight for their right to information. He called on government to help equip deaf institutions with the needed teaching and learning materials and train more interpreters in the sign language to assist them to communicate effectively with the public.

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