The Executive Director of Ghana Blind Union (GBU), Dr. Peter ObengAsamoah, has urged government to ensure the provision of audio devices to learners with vision impairment in the country.
The device would enable all disabled learners to be productive in their everyday life as every normal person.
The Executive Director of GBU said this during the launch of “ACCESSIBLE BOOKS FOR ALL” campaign yesterday in Accra.
Mr Asamoah said the visually impaired learners were capable of contributing to their own development and that of the country, if they were given equal opportunities and the abilities to access their materials technologically.
“As much as we have disabilities we know we can be useful in the country, that is why we are calling on government and the Ministry of Education to ensure audio devices were provided to our learners in school”, he said
According to MrAsamoah, if the devices could be personalised to meet the specific needs of the impaired individuals, it would become part of their everyday learning.
“If these devices are not given, the learning experience of our visually impaired persons would be limited to the confines of the formal institutions especially when school vacate then it means learning ends for them,”he emphasised
He reiterated that the COVID–19 era was a clear indication of some difficulties they faced in their learning as schools were closed down.
“When e-learning was organised on TV and Radio, blind learners were not part of the project which was to their disadvantage.”
Mr Asamoah, therefore, appealed to the Ministry of Education and Government to provide the necessary devices for the impaired learners since digitisation was on the move in the country.
The Deputy Minister of Education,Rev Dr John NtimFordjour receiving a petition from GBU lauded them for their efforts as their advocacy would better the situation of the impaired learners.
“I am glad that this advocacy has heightened as our impaired learners want to be included in all education proceeds and every initiative to explore their talents, the petition will receive the attention it deserves”.
“We are inspired by some of the things visually impaired learners do because they define all odds that disability is not equated to inability, he added.
In attendance were members of the New Horizon for the Blind, Ghana National Association of the Deaf, Students from Akropong School for the Blind and the members from International Council for Education of People of Visual Impairment (ICEVI).
About 200 textbooks and storybooks in French and English, as well as audios and soft copies were presented to the Special Education Division (SPED) of the Ghana Education Service .
BY BENEDICTA GYIMAH FOLLEY AND ANITA ANKRAH