GFD marks International Day for Persons with Disability

By Denis Bebane

The Upper West Regional Chapter of the Ghana Federation of Disability Organizations has marked International Day for Persons with Disability with a call on Government and Civil Society Organizations to as a matter of concern revisit the UN standard rules document and implement it to the letter to improve the lives of PWDs. The UN policy document on equal opportunities for all provides for services such as employment, decision making, support services, education, health and access to public structures. However, many of these policies are yet to be implemented in Ghana. The Upper West Regional President of the Organization, Ibrahim Saani said in some Communities when it comes to leadership positions or chieftaincy, PWDs are asked to stay aside because of their condition.

Ghana Federation of Disability Organizations which is an umbrella body of all Disability groups normally marks December 3 as declared by the UN General Assembly as a day for Persons with disability in October 1992. However, that day in Ghana was rescheduled to December 30 because of Farmers’ Day.

The International Day has since been observed and made rules for Member Countries to pledge signatories to the document. Members observed the day with the view to achieving full and equal enjoyment of human rights and participation in society by PWDs.

The Upper West Regional President of the Federation, Ibrahim Saani pointed out that, ”PWDs have equal rights and obligations to take part in the nation’s development and society must as such uphold the rights of Persons with Disability”.

Mr. Saani said Persons with Disabilities should be expected to fulfill their roles in society and meet obligations like any other person.

”However, their ability depends on social attitude and factors that may be a barrier to their participation”.

”People see the disability in the individuals by the white cane, crutches and wheelchairs or hearing aid but not by the capability of the person”, he posited.

The Programme Coordinator at the Centre for People’s Empowerment and Rights Initiatives (CPRI), Dominic Wunigura bemoaned how people in society use derogatory language against Persons with Disability.

”Persons with Disability must be identified by their names and not the condition or physical status”.

Personal Assistant to the Upper West Regional Minister, Mei-goro Abdul-Rahaman who spoke on behalf of the Regional Minister assured the Federation of the government’s support.

The celebration saw members of various groups of Persons with Disability march through the principal streets of the Upper West Regional capital, Wa to register their joy for the day.

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