GFD launches guidelines on inclusion and participation of persons with disabilities
Africa, August 26 2016
ACCRA: The Ghana Federation of Disability Organisations (GFD), has launched guidelines on inclusion and participation of persons with disabilities in election 2016 in Accra.
The aim is to promote full inclusion and effective participation of persons with disabilities in the society as well as empower organisations with such persons.
Mr Joshua Makubu, Elections Project Coordinator, GFD speaking at the launch, said many decision making processes have paid lip service to the issue of disability and as such most policies developed particularly in Ghana have not made adequate provisions for Persons with Disabilities.
He said the guidelines therefore seeks to ensure that disability issues are adequately included in political party manifestoes as well as in programmes of the Electoral Commission (EC), the National Commission on Civic Education (NCCE) , the Information Service Department and other stakeholders.
The guidelines entails a number of challenges confronting persons with disabilities such as access to polling stations, access to information, employment opportunities, mental health issues, inclusive education and how these can be implemented effectively to make it disability friendly.
Mr Makubu said this was very necessary for the country as a democratic state to allow all stakeholders enjoy their piece of the national cake and feel part of the society.
He thus appealed to government to upgrade all special needs schools in the country to enable it meet international standards.
He as well urged that government appointments should also include persons with disability for the development of the economy and the nation at large.
‘If government wants to improve women participation in politics they can as well increase the number of persons with disabilities in parliament for better legislation.’
Mr Samuel Asare Akuamoah, the Deputy Chairman of Operations, NCCE said the guidelines when implemented would help nip the gaps in the governance and operation systems and enhance the work of the NCCE for effective communication and participation.
He, therefore, appealed to stakeholder institutions to get copies of the guidelines to enhance their activities and their way of communication with persons with disabilities.
Mrs Abigail Amponsah Nutakor, the Head of Gender and Disability EC, said persons with disability could do a lot during this electioneering year and thus, urged those interested as polling officials to make their intentions known to the EC to be able to take part in the process.
The guidelines are in brails, large fonts and normal fonts for easy accessibility by persons with disabilities.