Disability organizations develop standard protocols
Africa, August 15 2016
ACCRA, GHANA: The Ghana Federation of Disability Organisations (GFD) has developed national standards for determining disabilities in the country to ensure services provided by agencies sufficiently guarantee inclusion of persons with disabilities.
The protocols are expected to go through exhaustive stages of consultation, validation and user testing, culminating in a final set of standards being produced to apply across a broad range of circumstances.
This is meant to address individual and complex needs of persons with disabilities.
Mr Moses Fordjour, the Monitoring and Evaluation Officer of GFD, told the Ghana News Agency that the standards would promote ease of access by the disability community to public and private buildings.
He was speaking on the side-lines of a workshop organised by the GFD for the development of standard protocol or tool and processes for testing and measuring disability sensitivity and compliance.
The standard protocol development process is part of a two-year capacity building support project for the Federation and disability in Ghana.
It is being funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) with some $292,000.
Mr Fordjour said uniformed criteria would be used to weigh programs, services and organisations’ compliance to the law and needs persons with disabilities to prevent abuse, harm, neglect and violence.
‘We will establish standards for assessing how agencies work with the principles underlying inclusive development, a process that will empower persons with disabilities and look at policies, programmes and projects comply with the law.
‘We will look at the extent they run inclusive programmes and how they address issues of accessibility. It will help the GFD to do comprehensive accessibility audit, policy audit and the results would show the extent of dealing with disability in Ghana,’ he said.
Mr Yaw Ofori Debra, the President of GFD, urged stakeholders to intensify their advocacy and activism to ensure policy makers and the public got true understanding of the evaluation element to assess inclusive disability at every development level.
He said local assemblies must be proactive in their planning and execution of projects and programs to ensure the needs of persons with disabilities were fused into their planning processes.
‘We feel that many people are not knowledgeable about the needs of persons with disabilities, some of which are technical,’ he said, adding; ‘if we provide these tools planners will always be conscious of their needs and ensure the right things are done.’
Mr Debra expressed the hope that standard protocols would help evaluate disabilities and properly appraise development needs as well as guide planners.
Disability experts say though persons with disabilities have a legal entitlement and a right to access mainstream opportunities, services, programmes, public events and infrastructure, many in Ghana experience profound exclusion and less access.
The situation leads to poor health services delivery, lower levels of education, poor training, lack of employment participation, social exclusion, and failure to access basic goods and facilities.