Uwera emphasized the importance of formulating and implementing a law to grant driving privileges to individuals with hearing and speech disabilities, stressing the need for mechanisms to identify and support these individuals adequately. She pointed out the existing disparity between Rwandans and foreigners with similar disabilities who can drive in the country, advocating for a campaign to raise awareness on this issue.
"We’ve brought this matter to public attention so that informed discussions can take place. There are individuals in our country with valid permits driving without hindrance, supported by the necessary documentation," stated Uwera.
During the meeting, instances were shared where individuals holding foreign permits could drive without fluency in the local language. Uwera highlighted the urgency of addressing this issue in a progressive nation, emphasizing that building institutions and a legal framework should include provisions for individuals with disabilities.
Apollinaire Mupiganyi, TIR Executive Secretary, underscored the empowering potential of implementing such a law, stating that owning a car could alleviate the financial burden of hiring a driver for disabled individuals. SP Teddy Ruyenzi, representing the police, expressed readiness to enforce the law once approved, dispelling concerns about increased road accidents among individuals with hearing and speech disabilities.
Kayigi Kajuga Léon from Rwanda Development Board (RDB) emphasized the importance of comprehensive considerations before implementing such a law, suggesting an examination of technological requirements, road infrastructure, and congestion to ensure that granted rights are not incomplete.
Jean d’Amour Uzabumwana, a member of the Executive Board of the Rwanda National Union of the Deaf (RNUD) and the Accountant of the National Union of Disability Organizations in Rwanda (NUDOR), echoed the need for an updated law, emphasizing its potential to streamline the process for individuals with hearing and speech disabilities, eliminating the need to obtain licenses abroad.
In 2016, the World Federation of the Deaf emphasized the obligation, as per the The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD), for governments to establish measures preventing the exclusion of people with disabilities from various aspects of life.
As of 2019, Rwanda was among 26 countries without a law allowing people with hearing and speech disabilities to drive, prompting a call to action to avoid discrimination against this segment of the population.