The Ministry to Persons with Disability (MPWD) of the Church of Pentecost, Ashaiman branch has marked the 2022 international disability day with members of the Ghana Federation of Disability Organizations (GFD).
Three branches of the Church – the Ashaiman main, the Estate, and New Moneomanye Assemblies, which worked together to mark the day, used the occasion to educate the public on the need to uphold the dignity, rights, and well-being of persons with disability.
Speaking at the event, Mr. Alexander Bankole Williams, Chairman of the National Advocacy Committee of the Federation, said persons with disabilities were equally important just like every other human being and should not be discriminated against.
Educating the congregation on the importance of the white cane, Mr. Williams said that the white cane allowed people, who are blind or visually impaired, to move around safely and independently.
He said, “being able to move through your environment and go to places without having to rely on a sighted person is extremely important for someone’s independence, and empowerment.”
Mr. Williams noted that the white cane “allows sighted persons to recognize that the user is visually impaired”.
“Do not hold the tip of the white cane of any visually impaired person who seeks help. Use the sighted guide technique by allowing the disabled to touch or hold your elbow for direction,” he said.
Mr. Williams called for more assistance for persons with disability to make society comfortable and friendly.
He emphasized that drivers should support and help persons with disabilities, especially when crossing the road and boarding public transport.
He said drivers could be fined or jailed in line with the Disability Act if they failed to stop for a person with a disability who has demonstrated the intention to cross the road either at the pedestrian crossing or at an appropriate designated point.
He said such a driver was liable on summary conviction to a fine of GHC600.00 or a term of imprisonment not exceeding three months or both.
Mrs. Martha Awuley, a patron of MPWD of the Church of Pentecost, Ashaiman branch, reiterated that persons with disability were not evil and must be loved and cared for with affection.