‘Develop policies responsive to plight of disabled’

The Federation of Disability Organisation (FDO) has appealed to the government and other stakeholders to develop policies that are responsive to the plight of Persons with Disabilities (PWDs).

This would create an integrated society with equal opportunities for all vulnerable persons.

The President of the FDO in charge of the Bongo District, Mr Clement Mba, made the call during the Bongo District chapter’s celebration of the International Day of the Disabled on the theme, “Not all disabilities are visible.”

He said PWDs were often neglected and not given the needed attention and support to empower them to live dignified lives.

The International Day of the Disabled, initiated by the United Nations and celebrated annually in December 3, was to highlight challenges facing persons with disabilities and advocate proposals towards addressing them.

At the celebration, the federation demonstrated their pleas through placards with inscriptions such as “Include PWDs in decision-making at all levels of governance, give persons with disabilities a quota in youth employment agency and nation builders corps, make all public places accessible to PWDs now!, stop discrimination against PWDs and respect persons with disabilities, among others.”

Mr Mba noted that about 15 per cent of the world’s population were disabled and added that the 2010 Population and Housing Census conducted in Ghana suggested that about 4,063 persons representing 4.8 per cent were disabled in the Bongo District.

“Out of this number, those with sight problems constitute 38.5 per cent, the physically challenged 23.3 per cent, the difficulty in hearing 21.8 per cent and those with speech impairment 10.8 per cent. This clearly shows that the district has a large number of its population being PWDs, hence, the need to be given a lot more attention,” he added.

Mr Mba explained that despite the huge numbers of disabled people across the country, their challenges and aspirations had not yet been sufficiently incorporated into the policies and programmes of various departments and agencies to create a society for PWDs to participate fully in nation building.

In spite of the passage of the Disability Act of 2006, Act 715 by Parliament, he said many public buildings were still not accessible to PWDs and while discrimination was still practiced in society against PWDs.

While applauding President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo for increasing the disability fund from two per cent to three and appointing Mr Joseph Makubu, a disabled person as Minister-designate for the Oti Region, MrMba indicated that the federation needed more opportunities to empower members to live dignified lives.

Mr Mba, who lauded the efforts of Mr Peter Ayamga Ayinbisa, the District Chief Executive (DCE) of Bongo for supporting the federation over the years, appealed to the DCE and the Assembly to assist in constructing motorable roads leading to their completed resource centre.

FROM SAMUEL AKAPULE,BONGO

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