Assembly disburse funds to the physically challenged

The Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolitan Assembly, has disbursed GH¢53,607 .29, being part of the District Assembly Common Fund for 2010, to 41 physically challenged persons and three physically challenged organizations.

Mrs Deborah Daisy Kwabia, Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolitan Director of the Department of Social Welfare, announced this at a symposium, organized by the Metropolitan Association of the Deaf at Takoradi.

The symposium, which formed part of activities of the celebration of this year’s International Week of Deaf Persons, was on the theme: “Breaking the communication barrier between deaf and hearing through sign language”.

Mrs Kwabia suggested that part of the money disbursed should be used to provide tuition in sign language for people championing the cause of the physically challenged to enable them communicate effectively with the deaf.

Mr. Osei Bonsu Kontoh, Headmaster of the Sekondi School for the Deaf, said it was wrong to consider persons with hearing impairment as mentally deficient.

He said this assumption was because the hearing population could not communicate with persons with hearing impairment.

Mr. Kontoh said persons with hearing impairment possessed normal intelligence and they did not function below “Cognitively normal abilities generally”.

He asked people, especially parents of deaf children, to learn sign language to enable them to communicate effectively with the deaf.

Mr. Kontoh appealed to Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies to assist in the teaching of sign language.

Mr. Joseph Ewusi-Ntenah, President of the Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolitan Association of the Deaf, called on government to ensure that policies and programmes reached the deaf community through sign language.

He said while the National Disability Act sought to promote the employment of persons with disability, it failed short of affirmative action.

Mr. Ewusi-Ntenah called for the enactment of a law to guarantee a minimum quota of about five per cent of all public sector employment opportunities for persons with disability.

He also advocated vocational training and sustainable livelihood for the deaf.

Source: GNA

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