Minister calls for amendment of Disability Act
Africa, November 26 2013
GHANA: Nana Oye Lithur, Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection has called for amendment of the Disability Act 2006 to conform to international obligations under the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
She said the amendment would also ensure that the needs of Ghanaians with disabilities were addressed in accordance with the new mandate given to the Gender Ministry.Nana Oye made this call on Monday during the inauguration of the National Council on Persons with Disability.
She charged the Council to develop modalities for raising funds to facilities its activities. She said the Council was mandated to pursue and promote a better Ghana experience for the estimated 20 per cent of the nation’s population with disabilities.
“The Council is also mandated by section 42 of Act 715 to develop policies and strategies to facilitate the participation of persons with disabilities in the national development process”, she added.
She also called on the Council to come out with a plan to enable all public structures accessible as the deadline for such compliance would expire in about three years’ time.
Mrs Oye Lithur also tasked the Council to conduct thorough investigations into issues surrounding the disbursement of common fund allocated to persons with disabilities.
“I will also appeal to you to develop a plan to secure access to services where there are communication challenges, especially with the accessing of health care for person with hearing disabilities,” she added.
She called for the establishment of regional and districts offices with proper operational capacities to establish a national register of Persons with Disability.
This, she said, would help to address issues relating to the rehabilitation centers at the district level initiating right based interventions and programs and also help secure better and well planned programs for people with disabilities.
She said each member of the board was specially chosen to enhance the work of the board with his or her unique attribute and expertise.
Ms Emma Lilian Bruce-Lyle, who represented the Federation of Persons with Disability on the board, on behalf of the chairman express her appreciation to the minister for the trust reposed in them and pledged their readiness to work for people with disabilities in the country.
The Council members were Prof. Gyimah Boadi, Chairperson, (Centre for Democratic Governance); Dr Akwesi Osei, Ministry of Health Representative; Mr Sampson Nii Trebi, Department of Social Welfare; Mr Humphrey Koffie, Mental Health Society of Ghana; Nana Yaa Agyeman, ShareCare Ghana and Mrs Gertrude Oforiwaa Fefoame, Sightsavers Ghana.
The rest were Ms Patience Opoku, Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection; Ms Emma Lilian Bruce-Lyle, Federation of Persons with Disability; Father Andrew Campbell, Christ the King Catholic Church, Mr Divine Ayidzoe, Ministry of Education and Mr Max Varden, Executive Secretary for Council of Persons with Disability.
The Ministries of Local Government and Rural Development, Employment, Labour Relations and the Ghana Employers Association are all required to present a representative each.