Ghanaians lauded for change of attitude towards disabled persons
Mr Yaw Ofori-Debrah, Vice President of the Ghana Federation for the Disabled (GFD), has lauded Ghanaians for their changing attitude towards disabled people in the society.
“It is worth noting that the attitude of the Ghanaian toward the disabled in our society has changed for the better as compared to the last 10 years”.
Mr Ofori-Debrah who was speaking in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) on Wednesday, said that due to a lot of sensitization programmes on disability, employers had began giving employment opportunities to qualified disabled persons in their organisations.
“Now we have able bodied persons who are marrying physically disabled people and hitherto, it was never like that.”
He cited the provision of special facilities for the disabled persons in government universities as some of the measures which had gone a long way to integrate disabled persons into the society and also give them quality education.
He said “we need a Legislative Instrument on the Disability Act in order to spell out clearly and how what institutions are mandated to do to ensure that lives of disabled persons were made easier.”
He called on Ghanaians to educate themselves in issues pertaining to disability and Persons with Disability (PWD) so as to know how to live with them, eschew stigmatization and also desist from trampling on their rights.
“For example, how many public transport drivers know that they are required by law to reserve two seats for PWD when loading their vehicles with passengers,” he asked.
Mr Ofori-Debrah who is also the President of the Ghana Blind Union, congratulated the District Assemblies for heeding calls to pay the two percent of their Common Fund meant for PWDs in their localities.
He called on members in the district to go by the guidelines developed by the Federation on how to disburse the two percent given to them.
“Basically, the two percent is used to assist members who wanted to start their own businesses, give support to students and also for capacity building programmes of members”.
He called on the public to learn more about PWDs and stop stigmatizing them in the society in an effort to make life easier for them.
“PWDs need understanding, not compassion from society, they need opportunities’ not charity and they need equity and equality but not consideration.”
Mr Ofori-Debrah said the Ghana Society for the Physically Disabled, the Ghana Blind Union, Ghana Association for the Deaf and the Parent Association of Children with Intellectual Disability as some of the organization under the Federation.
He expressed appreciation to Disabled People Organisation in Denmark (DEPOD) for its financial support to the Association.