Saturday, April 4, 2020

Director laments judicial exclusion of people with disabilities

People living with disabilities are up in arms over what they see as the lack of accessibility to the country’s judicial system. Addressing delegates at a seminar held in Gaborone under the theme “Access to justice for persons living with disabilities”, the Executive Director of the Botswana Association of the Deaf/Botswana Federation of Disabled (BOFOD) Shirley Keoagile said the judicial system was very unfair to people with disabilities.

Keoagile, a renowned disability activist promoting the interests of persons with disabilities, stated that people living with disabilities face very difficult times as the system is absolutely biased towards them. She reiterated that at times some cases are delayed due to the lack of sign language interpreters in court.

On numerous occasions, the association of the deaf in Botswana has called on the government and the larger community to learn how to communicate in sign language.

 According to Keoagile, lack of knowledge in sign language makes it hard for them to communicate or express their needs and wants to the government and other people on a personal level, adding that the visually impaired are unable to read the law for themselves because it is unavailable in the Braille interpretation. 

Keoagile who has worked tirelessly to improve the quality of life for persons with disabilities in the country added that it is important for people living with disabilities to be independent and know the law without limitations.

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