Govt Dragged to Court for Neglecting People with Special Needs


The Deaf under their umbrella association of Uganda National Association for the Deaf have dragged the government to court accusing it of failure to provide sign language interpreters in government health facilities.

This follows a research conducted by the Initiative for Social and Economic Rights body where it was established that the deaf experience delays at health facilities.

The incident occurs when their (deaf) names are called and they cannot respond since it is hard for them to notice.

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The deaf describe that as discrimination and a contravention of their rights.

Through their lawyers of Kirunda and Wesige Advocates, they have petitioned Constitutional Court claiming that their right to hold health interpreters has been violated, as health centers lack skilled sign language interpreters yet the People with Disability Act (PWD’S) Act of 2006 requires the state to introduce sign language in training curriculum for medical schools to enable PWD’s access information.

In their affidavits to support this application, the deaf revealed that they face more difficulty in accessing health care and that they are usually accompanied by their relatives to act as a medium of communication which infringes their privacy and limits the capacity to make own decisions concerning their health.

It is on the basis of the above that they want court to order government to re-enforce sign language on the curriculum for medical schools to enable the deaf receive comprehensive information regarding their health.

The Deputy Registrar is yet to summon the government through the Attorney General to respond and have the matter fixed for hearing.


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