A member of the disability community in Ghana has told Xinhua that one of the challenges the fraternity faced in the country was discrimination in the job market.
Joseph Oppong, 30, and physically challenged with a Master’s degree in marketing said: “unlike the situation for able-bodied people, high academic qualification and proven competence are not enough to secure a disabled person a good job in Ghana.”
“When we send our CVs and are invited for interviews, once they see we are disabled, they do not call us again. But they will do not explicitly say they are rejecting you because of your disability,” Oppong told Xinhua.
He added that some of the employers who would have loved to employ people with disabilities were also not able to do so because the facilities at their workplaces were not disability friendly.
Oppong, who was speaking on the sides of a day’s forum on the labor rights of disabled people in Ghana, therefore, urged authorities to build an inclusive society with support systems persons with disabilities.
“Give us a level playing field, because, most of us do qualify for the jobs, so there should be an all-inclusive approach to job placement,” he urged.
The 2010 population and housing census put the number of persons with severe disability in Ghana at 737, 743, but he ministry of health has put the number between seven percent and 10 percent of the population.
The International Labor Organization (ILO) also puts the unemployment figure in the disability community globally at 85 percent.
The Executive Director for energy think tank Africa Center for Energy Policy (ACEP) Benjamin Boakye said it was out of ignorance that some employers rejected persons with disabilities.
He said when ACEP had the opportunity to interview two persons with a disability recommended by the disability council; members of the panel were amazed at the quality of the interview and the depth of understanding displayed by the disabled persons.
“That clearly shows that if we had a database that allows us to map out these persons, we can use their capacities, and empower them to be more effective in society,” Boakye said. Enditem