Nana Oye Lithur, the Gender Minister who launched the campaign explained that the PWD Act passed 10 years ago, which seeks to protect and promote the rights of persons with disability provided a 10- year transitional provisions.
The provision requires owners or occupiers of public buildings to make such buildings accessible to and available for use by persons with disability; “the moratorium to ensure that this happens will be due on Thursday, August 11”, she said.
The Gender Minister noted that the National Council on Person with Disability is working with the Ghana Standards Authority and the Disabled People Oragnisation to develop the Ghana Standards on Accessibility Designs (GSAD)
The GSAD provides specifications on how buildings, roads, recreational centres should be designed so as to make them accessible to all especially PWDs.
She said President John Dramani Mahama is committed to creating an enabling environment for PWDs…“We are working to ensure that issues of PWDs are integrated in every aspect of our social protection mandates as a ministry.”
Nana Oye Lithur noted that more than 3000 PWDs have been registered on the National Health Insurance Scheme, whilst the ministry has made efforts at making PWDs key target groups for Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty Programme.
She said the Gender Ministry has also developed a Disability Employment Modules for PWDs under the Youth Employment Agency.
Currently the agency employs more than 2000 PWDs.
“As a government we are committed to ensuring that all persons especially the vulnerable are protected. We will continue to work with the National Council on Persons with Disability to create awareness on the PWD Act and ensure it is complied with,” she said.
The Gender Minister therefore called on owners of public buildings and institutions to ensure that the enabling environment is created for unhindered access to the facilities by PWDs.
Mr Jonathan Osei Owusu, Executive Director, Perfector of Sentiments (POS) Foundation observed that PWD are unfairly treated and deprived access to facilities.
“The 10 years moratorium on public buildings to be made accessible to persons with disability is due, yet most public buildings are still not accessible,” he said.
He said the issue of disability must not be overlooked.
“The enactment of the Disability Act in 2006 (Act 715) and the rectification of the UN Convention on the Right of Persons with Disability in 2012 confirms the importance of the issue of creating a disability friendly environment.”
Mr Osei Owusu also indicated that prisons in Ghana are not disability friendly.
“I found a blind man in prison, but I say he was in prison at a place where the facilities are not friendly at all in his condition.”
He commended the efforts of the ministry and pledged the support of POS foundation to the campaign.
He called on stakeholders to join the ministry to ensure the implementation of the Act.
Source: GNA/News Ghana