Lack of Accessibility for Persons with Disabilities in Ghana
Africa, News, August 11 2017
GHANA: The Ghana Federation of Disability Organizations is threatening to sue public organisations for their failure to comply with the country’s disability act.
Per the disability act [Act 715], owners or occupiers of public buildings are required to make their buildings accessible to and available for use by persons with disabilities.
Parliament in August 2006 passed the PWD Act, to ensure the protection and promotion of the rights of persons with disabilities. Section 60 of the Act enjoins stakeholders to make public places disability friendly but there appears to be little or no efforts towards that regard 11 years on.
A moratorium to given to owners or occupiers of public buildings to make their buildings disability friendly expired on August 11, 2016 but most buildings remain unfriendly towards persons with disabilities.
Against this backdrop, President of the Federation, Mr. Yaw Ofori- Debrah, they would soon head to court to enforce the disability act.
“We have consulted our human rights lawyers and are ready to summon the institutions that has failed to comply with the law to court to face the full rigorous of the law to serve as a deterrent and also to ensure its enforcement” he told Onua FM.
He observed that although there is a law protecting persons with disability in the country, its significance has not been reflected in the lives.
Mr Ofori-Debrah said measures have been put in place to amend the law to meet the international standard, noting the amendment is yet to be tabled before Parliament for consideration and approval.
Meanwhile, he has expressed disappointment in the government for what he termed as the neglect of disability rehabilitation centres across the country.
The disability rehabilitation centres were established to train person’s with disability to enhance them with skills that could assist them acquire livelihood but the core values of the centres have lost.
The centres lack requisite facilities to meet perform its function. They currently use outmoded teaching layouts, something that has negatively affected their training status.
Mr Ofori-Debrah has thus appealed to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to take an interest in issues affecting persons with disability by providing and equipping them with the necessary support to make their lives bearable.
“This [outmoded teaching layouts] has contributed heavily against the well-being of our members after receiving training from the rehab centres since their products suffer patronage from the public in the market centers” he observed.
Though he said the Ministry of Transport has employed some of their members at the toll booths in the country, there is the need for the private sectors also to employ their members and stop regarding them as unproductive