A disability inclusive competition held in Accra has ended with a call on the public and authorities to be sensitive to the needs of Persons with Disabilities (PWDs).
The programme, organised by Inclusive Tech Group (ITG), was attended by more than 70 young technologically inclined individuals who converged on the Accra Digital Centre for the event.
Dubbed “Di-Hack 2021,” the programme was on the theme: ‘Removing barriers to create an inclusive society for all,” sought to enhance and empower PWDs technologically.’
Participants were mainly university students and graduates, including Persons With Disabilities (PWDs).
In all, nine teams competed but one of them, Team Advotech, emerged the overall winner and won the top most prize of GH5,000.00, a plaque and mentorship opportunities.
Advotech created an innovative web application prototype as a yardstick to help solve the communication barrier for the hearing impaired.
Two other teams, Oracle and Technonyx, who won the second and third positions were given GHC3, 000.00 and GHc2, 000.00 as prizes respectively.
All groups presented various innovations they created that had the capacity of helping to improve the lives of some PWDs.
Addressing participants, Executive Director of ITG, Dr Millicent Agangi, said it was important to make digitisation more inclusive for PWDs because such individuals had much potentials waiting to be unearthed.
She mentioned that there were about 15million PWDs in the world, adding that the number was expected to increase significantly by 2030.
She also stated that out of the figure, three million of the PWDs were in Ghana and expressed worry about the little attention given to them, while calling for the immediate inclusion of PWDs in the country’s digitisation efforts.
The government, she said, must also come up with innovative solutions that could improve the lives of PWDs.
Underscoring the need for more research into digital spaces for PWDs, Dr Agangi was of the strong conviction that the time for digital emancipation was now.
Touching on the psychological well-being of PWDs in general, she noted that individuals living with any form of disability sometimes suffered from certain forms of psychological trauma, especially when they are in situations where they always felt neglected.
This, she said, could sometimes be blamed on limited knowledge, social skills, and verbal skills.
Another speaker at the event, Mr George Adjabeng, who is in charge of multichannel and innovations at Society General (SG), said his outfit had already started employing PWDs in efforts to promote the inclusion of such persons in the activities of the bank, and also prove that disability was not inability.
At the end of the three day event, one of the competitors, team Advotech, emerged overall winner of the competition and walked away with a cash prize of GHC50, 000.00.
BY RAISSA SAMBOU