Mr Benjamin Boakye, the Executive Director of the Centre for African Energy Policy (ACEP), has called on government to do more to ensure that People Living with Disability (PLWDs) were not left out in the development agenda.
He said it was paramount to avoid the social exclusion of all vulnerable groups in all spheres of development, cutting across economics, education, spatial planning and infrastructure development to seamlessly integrate them into society.
That, he said, would ensure their empowerment so as not to become liabilities but invaluable assets contributing to the overall development agenda of the Country, adding; “Disability is not inability”.
Mr Boakye made the call when he shared the findings of a research conducted in partnership with the Ford Foundation on ‘Disability Intervention’ in Kumasi, at a validation engagement with its stakeholders.
The survey aimed at finding out disability gaps in interventions of government, Civil Society Organizations and other non-state actors and seek ways to address them to improve support packages.
Mr Boakye said the study, among other things, revealed a disability fund gap, lack of disability friendly infrastructure in public and private locations, and lack of awareness of the affected persons to those rights to enable them to fight for redress.
Mr Alfred Tabi Amponsah, the Ashanti Regional President for the Ghana Federation of Disability, appealed to government to increase the quota for PLWDs to improve their living conditions.
He called for the acceleration and implementation of the Disability ACT, which was amended in 2017.
Mr Tabi urged the public not to discriminate or stigmatize the physically-challenged through proverbial anecdotes like “Bafan ne fom,” to wit; “The cripple and the ground are good friends.”
He appealed to the oil and gas sectors to endeavour to employ people with disability who have the qualification to work to improve their living conditions.