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Authority to issue driving license for the hearing impaired

News Y2-Authority approves regulation

After several years of advocacy and concerted pressure from various civil groups, the Federal Transport Authority finally approved the directive manual that enables granting driving license to the hearing impaired.

Director of Driving License and Certification at the Authority, Tamirat Tullu, told The Reporter that a manual has been adopted after taking lessons from the experience of other countries.

He stated that the authority has identified that the hearing impaired community can drive vehicles as driving by itself depends almost 90 percent on seeing.

He further indicated that the authority has already distributed the manual to regional states, which are expected to begin preparation before issuing license.

According to him, each region will first ensure that driving schools fulfill the training materials needed to conduct sign-language based teaching.

A week ago, Minister of Transport, Dagmawit Moges signaled that the directive was to be adopted soon.  

The authority also revealed that it has already informed traffic police of the upcoming changes with awareness being created in the force before the action gets underway.

Other sections of the disabled community, except the visually and hearing impaired, have been granted licenses years ago.

Various civil society organizations and associations of disabled people have been advocating and intensifying pressure against the government to bring legal frameworks that would allow granting license for the remaining groups of the disabled.

The Reporter has learnt that the government would not adopt a similar framework soon to grant license for the visually impaired as their disability entails the omission of a key sense in driving.  

The director confirmed that license for the visually impaired is still difficult as driving depends mainly on seeing.