By: Albert Kuzor & Selase Bannor| Voltaonlinegh.com|
The Akatsi South District Assembly in collaboration with the Global Action for Women Empowerment (GLOWA) has marked the 2018 International Day for Persons with Disability (PWDs) with a call on the government to build friendly environment for the PWDs.
Scores of physically challenged persons at a mini durbar held at Akatsi, to mark the day, were seen holding placards with inscription such as “Make the environment disability friendly”, “Help bring out the best in us”, “We have the right to education”, among others.
They called on government to enforce the Disability Act, pointing at Section 6 of Act 715, which states that, owners of any building must see to it that the building is accessible by PWDs and also, Section 17 which talks about accessible education for them.
Speaking at the event, President of the Association of Students with Disabilities, Carl Tetteh, bemoaned how all persons of different ages with disability in the country are still having difficulties in accessing some public places.
He said, despite the enactment of laws to protect them, these laws are not doing what it has been enacted for.
“There is evidence of our commitment and ability as Ghanaians to enact beautiful laws to tackle problems in the society. However, their implementation has always not been the best.”
Touching on education, Mr. Tetteh spoke of the inadequate facilities and suggested the way forward.
“Twelve years and still counting, there are not enough schools that are integrated for persons with disability especially, visually impaired students. At least, each region in Ghana should have integrated schools. As it stands now, there are only seven integrated senior high schools, two in the three northern regions, one in Brong Ahafo Region, one in the Central Region, two in the Volta Region and one in Eastern Region. When this is done, a person will not be compelled to travel a long distance, from one region to another to get education.”
He quizzed, “why should a citizen’s choice to go to school be restricted to a particular school?”
He appealed to civil society organisations, the Media, and volunteers to join the advocacy for PWDs to be accepted by the society while calling on law enforcement agencies to deal with any person found guilty of stigmatising PWDs.
The District Chief Executive of the area, Leo Nelson Adzidogah pledged support for them and encouraged them to consider themselves as citizens.
He also advised them to participate in any national activities, especially in the upcoming elections in the various districts.