Oye Lithur promotes disability friendly facilities

Nana Oye LithurNana Oye Lithur, Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, has appealed to the Disability Council to develop a plan that would propel the Government and private property owners to make their facilities disability-friendly.

This, she said should be done before 2016.

“Despite all efforts, there is a challenge with the implementation of section six of the Disability Act which requires owners of public structures to make their facilities disability friendly as compliance with this legal obligation will soon expire in 2016”, she said.

Mrs Lithur said this on Thursday during the launch of a report on the Inclusiveness and Effective Participation of Persons with Disability (PWDs) in Ghana by the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) and sponsored by the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development.

Mr Joe Debrah, Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, noted that PWDs form 10 per cent of the country’s population, hence the need to take issues pertaining to their wellbeing seriously.

He called on Ghanaians to re-orient their mentality on PWDs and avoid discriminating against them.

He said the Ministry intends to engage National Development Planning Commission, National Council for Persons with Disability and key stakeholders to ensure effective integration and mainstreaming of PWDs issues into District Medium Term Development Plans.

Mrs Gertrude Zakariah-Ali, Director of Research, NCCE, said the study was conducted as a national sample survey and covered 87 districts and a total of 2,623 respondents comprising 1,314 PWDs, 307 caregivers, 363 service providers and 635 public respondents.

She noted that the reports indicated that in the areas of employment, education, access to social amenities and public spaces, PWDs are denied their rights compared to persons without disabilities.

Respondents also named wrong perceptions about the capabilities of PWDs, low education/illiteracy, as some of the factors promoting the exclusion of PWDs in the country.

“The lack of vocational and employable skills, exemption of PWDs from the decision making process, lack of confidence and apathy among PWDs were also mentioned,” she said.

She said a high number of respondents mentioned the creation of employable and vocational skills for PWDs, access to education and free medical care as some of the major needs of PWDs.

“Some also called for the provision of food, clothing and housing conditions and financial assistance to prevent them from begging on the streets.” GNA

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