The Ghana National Gas Company Limited (Ghana Gas) is advocating the promotion of inclusiveness at all levels when it comes to disability related issues in the country.
“Let us be sensitive to the needs of Persons with Disability (PWDs) and give them the attention and respect you would give to anyone else by treating them as normal human beings.”
The call was made by the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Ghana Gas, Dr Ben Asante at an event organised to celebrate PWDs in the country as part of activities to mark the international day for PWDs.
The programme, which was attended by representatives from the Ministry of education, Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection and pupils from some special schools in the country saw performance by an all blind brass band called the Magic Eye Band.
It was held on the theme ‘Transformative solutions for inclusive development: the role of innovation in fueling an equitable world.’
According to Dr Asante, it was very important for the public to disabuse themselves from biases that surrounded PWDs, saying anyone could be affected by disability at any point in their lives.
Explaining, he said all employees needed to also understand the relevance of accessibility for PWDs at the workplace to make the environment very conducive for such individuals.
He stressed that the Ghana Gas had zero tolerance for discrimination against PWDs, adding that all the operation sites, including elevators were disability friendly.
Dr Asante assured that despite the significant number of PWDs working with the company, there were plans to employ more and provide them with the necessary resources to make meaningful contribution to the mandate of the company.
In furtherance, the CEO stressed that disability did not mean inability while calling on the public to support initiatives targeted at adding value to the lives of PWDs and also join the campaign against fighting stigmatisation against PWDs.
He was of the conviction that when more voices are added to the fight for the respect of the right of the vulnerable in the country and world at large, the living conditions and welfare of PWDs would be made a priority.
“A fight for better conditions for PWDs is a fight that could benefit everyone else because nobody knows tomorrow. There are many who were not born deaf, blind or paralysed but along the line they got affected by things that put them in certain conditions they never thought they would find themselves in, so if we are able to accept PWDs and make them comfortable in the society, we are also preparing a good environment for us just in case we become disabled in the near future,” he stressed.
A visually impaired staff of Ghana Gas, Mr Isaac Ansah in his submission bemoaned traditional perceptions regarding PWDs in some areas, saying the habit of linking disability to curses should stop.
On her part, Ms Farida Nana Efua Bedwei a software engineer lamented that more needed to be done in Ghana concerning the plight of PWDs, saying most PWDs in the country were lacking in education.
“We are tired of talking about our needs as PWDs. Government must stop the lip service and ensure schools especially, are very conducive for PWDs. Empower us to be capable of taking good care of ourselves.”
“Making at least one public school in each district of the country capable of admitting and caring for PWDs would be a step in the right direction and also give us the hope that we are a priority to government,” she stressed.
BY RAISSA SAMBOU