The Youth Bridge Foundation (YBF) and Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA) has produced and presented copies of the first ever braille version of the Child and Family Welfare Policy to the Akropong School for the Blind.
The support is to promote inclusive societies for sustainable development, advance access to justice for all and support the building of effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels, which is Access to Justice for Youth and Persons with Disability in Ghana Project.
Mr Seth Oteng, the Executive Director of YBF made the presentation on behalf of the two organisations to the Management, Student leadership at Akropong on Friday.
He explained that converting the provisions of the Policy accessible in braille version would educate the students, increase their awareness on the issues and empower them to demand their rights and be responsible citizens.
Mr Oteng appealed to corporate bodies to support the institutional needs of such a marginalised group and said it was the collective responsibility of the haves to build an equitable, just and inclusive society.
Ms. Cornelia Opoku Gyemfi, a Project Assistant at YBF, urged the government to link policies to practice, adding, “We are committed to complimenting efforts of the government to bridging such gaps, which is the thrust of YBF’s work.”
Receiving the presentation on behalf of the School Management, Mr Simon Adedeme, lauded YBF and OSIWA for helping with one of their challenges; having accessible formats of national policy documents.
He said most of the textbooks being used to teach the students were printed and does not promote effective teaching and learning.
“We have limited reading materials and the ones we have are not in braille, hence retarding normal leaning process for us and the students go through the normal education system to compete with privileged students,” he emphasised.
“It is, therefore, welcoming to Management that YBF will continuously consider the importance of making accessible to the students’ such important policy documents. This will contribute to their sense of belonging and also help in their development”.
Excited at receiving their copies of the braille version, Miss Esther Duoduo, the Girls Prefect of the School and Master Lord Sarkodie, the Boys Prefect, took turns to appreciate the document and read portions to their colleagues.
Master Sarkodie, expressed regret at how some parents easily give up on their visually impaired children and charged parents not to lose faith but continue to give their support towards their children’s development.
Established in 1945, the Akropong School for the Blind is the oldest and leading visually impaired school in the Sub-Sahara.
Starting off with only four students, the school can now boost of almost 400 students receiving tuition.
With classes classified into Kindergarten, Basic School and Junior High School, there is also a Vocational Department with a focus on music and craft; that is basketry, pomade as well as soap making.