The Volta Regional Association of the Deaf (VRAD) has called for the certification of sign language interpreters, especially those working in health facilities.
Mr. Raymond Agbadi, President of VRAD said sign language interpretation had become an important profession and that it was time practitioners were certified to operate with acceptable guidelines and standards.
He made the call at a day’s citizen advocacy forum for Persons Living With Disability organised by Pensplusbyte, a Non-Governmental Organisation driving change through innovation.
Mr. Agbadi said misinterpretation of conversations between a doctor and a hearing impaired patient could have dire consequences for both parties, hence, the need for standards and a monitoring authority.
“A wrong interpretation of ailment could lead to wrong medication, which may result in death and the blame would be on the interpreter”, Mr. Agbadi stated.
He said members of the Association were happy to have interpreters at health facilities and underscored the need for sign language interpreters at the local assemblies and social welfare offices for effective communication with their major stakeholders.
Mr. John Nelson Akorli, Ho Municipal Chief Executive, said it was unfortunate that persons living with disability continued to suffer all forms of discrimination from family members and society.
Mr. Akorli added that a report by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2011 on disability stated that PWDs were likely to find skills of health workers insufficient for their needs, three times more likely to refused care and four times more liable to receive treatment.
“This is an occurrence we must guard against as a people, moving forward” he said.