Tuesday, April 19, 2011

GADHOH want sign language interpreters at the TV, others Institutions

NEWS BANJUL THE GAMBIA (MB)- Members of The Gambia Association of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (GADHOH), on Sunday 17 April, 2011 held its annual general meeting in Kanifing, at GADHOD headquarters, members present at the meeting calls on the government of The Gambia for the ratification of the person with disability act in the country, employ sign language interpreters at the national television and other institutions.. Speaking at the meeting, Mr. Abdoukardirr Drammeh, President of GADHOH, told the gathering that the association is doing all its best day and night for the government of The Gambia to sign and ratified the United Nations Convention on the Right of Person with Disabilities (UNCRDP), but was quick to sat that some strides have been made in other areas in the convention citing some parts of the Gambian constitution that gives rights to persons with disabilities in the country. Drammeh remarked that government departments, ministries, and tertiary institutions should work with them to establish and finance training program for sign language interpreters and teachers of the deaf. He pointed out that the association is lobbying for the government department to ensure that the Gambia Radio and Television Services (GRTS) employ sign language interpreters at the national television. He noted that they (GADHOH) are also lobbying for the institution of high school for the deaf and heard of hearing students at college and university also to have sign language interpreters. He adds: “we at GADHOH are doing advocacy and lobbying for the government for the recognition of a Gambian national sign language as an official language in the Gambian soil.” Drammeh says all persons are equal before the law and Allah the almighty has created all equal, adding that disabled persons should be treated equally in the society like any other person. He added that the 1997 constitution of The Gambia stated that the right of the disabled and handicapped to respect and human dignity shall be recognised by the State, going further, he adds the disabled persons shall be entitled to protection against exploitation against discrimination, in particular as regard to health services, education and employment, he debunk. According to him, the association’s vision is empowerment, equity and barrier free society for all deaf and hard of hearing persons, while their mission says “to promote equal opportunities, rights and full participation of deaf and hard of hearing persons in The Gambia.” He explained that in the year 2010, the organization has organised and implemented a series of activities saying that board member was improved during organizational development training by VSO, holding regular board meeting, and participated in the training program on capacity building of Western and Central Africa aiming at strengthening organizational development, deaf awareness, lobbying and advocacy work in humans right of deaf people amongst others. Presenting Secretary General’s report, Mr. Abdoulie Sallah, said their 2010 activity begins with the election the new board and their regional branches namely Brikama, Banjul, Kanifing actively participated in the national cleaning exercise days. He added that the association also took in media awareness rising concerning the society’s need to discourage organised begging by individual deaf people from neighboring countries, sign language teaching and interpreters service beyond the roof of their headquarters was carried out. According to him, the media awareness campaign will ongoing, as sign language interpreter’s services delivered at the Gambia Technical Training Institute and joint activities between GADHOH and other development partners will continue. Secretary General Sallah disclosed that the association has also participated in both local and international sporting events as well as participating in local and international conferences. Vice President of GADHOH, Adama Jammeh, and Ebou Bobb presented the association annual work plan, and financial report respectively. Other speakers included representatives from various regions namely; Jainaba Marong and Sang Bass both from Farafenni, Matarr Choi Barra, Abdoulie Njie Banjul, Karamo Sanyang Brikama, Madam Euphrasia Mbewe FAD project Adviser from Zambia, and the meeting was closed by Madam Isatou Sanyang GADHOH Women Affairs.

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