I, first, heard about the issuing of the identity cards for the hearing impaired by the department of social service through my friend kaumadi’s mother. My friend researched about it, and let me know about this service. After contemplating it, I decided to get one for several reasons.
First, I am cochlear implanted. The security points at the shopping malls, banks, and other places with heavy security might sound the alarm because my implants include a magnet which will activate the alarm.
Second, the language barrier. I am monolingual. I only speak English. I can show the card as proof that I am hearing impaired/ Deaf.
Third, hearing impaired or deafness is not visible to other people. I do not want to put myself in a situation where I do not have to deal with insensitive security.
I am a student at the University of Colombo. Since I live in Colombo away from my family for the period of my studies. I would like to have the card so I can prevent any misunderstanding if the police stopped me.
They have continued to drag the issue without correcting the mistake. It has lasted for so long, so I decided I have to let people know how they are doing it and how I am treated.
Thus, I went ahead, and I applied for an identity card for the hearing impaired on 23rd June 2019 to the social service department in Matale, district secretariat.
The process, I had to get my application certified by the divisional secretary/ officer in charge. I had to provide documents to prove that I am hearing impaired/ Deaf and a certificate by the Grama Nalidari. After certification, they would send the application to the department of social service, Colombo.
After four and a half months, I received my disability identity card, but with a wrong identity number. Immediately after noticing the error, I handed it over to the relevant officers and district secretariat, Matale, to fix the error.
It has been so long since I requested them to correct the mistake. Along with my application, I submitted a copy of all the relevant documents. My question is, why can’t the people check the identity card number before issuing them?
I have provided my National Identity card number in a proper form. But when I received the card, the last two digits in the identity card number was wrong. I have visited the district officers concerning this issue several times. Even though it was their mistake, they asked me to submit a fresh application when I have previously submitted them with the documentation needed to verify the details.
I am also bringing the plight of other people who would have to go through this process.
Recently my father visited the Grama Nalidari office. Upon inquiring about the identity card. The officer asked us if we received any letter from the department of social service, Colombo. Since we did not receive any form of a letter from the social service, Colombo. The officer said that there was no need to submit a fresh application.
The Grama Nalidari and the district secretariat had done the best and certified my application after verifying all the details. Where did it go wrong? Why are they asking us to submit a fresh application when we all did our part?
I have done my part by following all the rules set out to fill the application. They have continued to drag the issue without correcting the mistake. It has lasted for so long, so I decided I have to let people know how they are doing it and how I am treated. By submitting a fresh application, they wanted to show that I have done something wrong.
This is such one problem, but who knows if they would behave in this manner with other disabled people. I am bringing awareness of this issue to the higher authorities and the common man. I am also bringing the plight of other people who would have to go through this process.