Former president of the Ghana Federation of Disability Organisations (GFD) Kumasi Metro, Prince Debrah, has lamented over lack of supervision and implementation of the Disability Act 2006 (Act 715), which among other things calls for all public buildings to be made disability friendly.

Speaking as part of an advocacy action carried out by the Business Sector Advocacy Challenge fund, Mr Debrah said the implementation of the Disability Act 2006, led to a 10 year moratorium at the end of which all public buildings was to be disability friendly however, after thirteen years and three years after the expiration of the Moratorium no significant achievement has been recorded.

He added that the lack of accessibility of the disabled to public buildings is limiting equal opportunities and denying the disabled access to healthcare, education and employment.

“Accessibility to the physical and built environment remains one of the key challenges faced by Persons With Disabilities (PWD).

It is a source of denial of rights enjoyed by others and also contributes significantly towards unemployment, injustice, discrimination, low levels of literacy, exclusion and isolation,” he added.

“The built environment in Ghana is not barrier-free. It does not allow for easy and safe movement, function or access for all regardless of age, sex or condition.

An inaccessible physical environment and space, without doubt, leads to significant loss of dignity and independence. A barrier-free environment enables an individual with or without a disability to access facilities and services with dignity and independence,” he said.

The Secretary for the Ashanti Regional branch of the GFD, Suraya Alidu, pointed out that PWDs have been ignored in the country’s response to the ongoing Coronavirus crisis. She pointed out that there has been no sign language interpreter in any of the President’s addresses to the nation.

She added that PWDs were equally at risk of contracting the virus and provisions should be made to accommodate them in future broadcasts.

Source: Elorm Ntumy

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