It is obvious that, Persons with a Disability often faces inequalities in the society as a result of inadequate support and services .
In order to ensure the full protection and promotion of the rights of Persons with Disability, the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection has taken a judicious step by launching a “National Campaign for Disability -Friendly Public Places”.
The campaign aims at creating awareness on the need for owners and occupiers of public buildings making it accessible and available to all persons including persons with disability.
Speaking at launching ceremony of the Campaign in Accra, the Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection Hon Nana Oye Lithur , explained that one key elements of empowering Persons with Disability is ensuring that all public spaces and facilities are accessible for all and sundry in the country.
According to her , her this will help reduce stigma and also enhance the integration measures for Persons with Disability.
“We passed the Persons with Disability Act 2006 (Act 175) ensure the protection and promotion of the rights of Persons with Disability. Section 60 of the law , which is the transitional 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 11th August , 2016.”, she explained.
This she said, the National Council on Persons with Disability is currently working with the Ghana Standards Authority and the Disabled People Organizations (DPOs) to develop the Ghana Standards on Accessibility Designs.
The document , which is currently in draft , provides specifications on how buildings , roads , recreational centres should be designed in order to ensure to make them accessible to all especially Persons with Disability.
Nana Oye Lithur , added that her outfit is working with the National Council on Persons with Disability to ensure that issues of Persons with Disability are integrated in every aspect of their social protection mandate as ministry.
Currently , over 3000 Persons with Disability have been registered on the National Health Insurance Scheme. Persons with Disability are the key target of the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty Programme .
“More than 52, 082 Persons with Disability are already benefiting from LEAP. We have also developed Disability Empowerment Modules for Persons with Disability under the Youth Employment Agency (YEA) . Currently the Agency employs over 2, 000 Persons with Disability”, she hinted.
More so, in collaboration with DPOs , draft guidelines on the usage of sign language , braille and other accessible formats have been developed .
This would help ensure that MDAs , MMDAs and other agencies provide the necessary facilities that make information and services accessible to Persons with Disability.
“We will continue to work with the National Council on Persons with Disability to create awareness on the Persons with Disability Act and to ensure it is complied with. We are working working to establish the regional offices for the National Council on Persons with Disability. Currently plans are underway to establish 4 regional offices in Ashanti , Central , Eastern and Greater Accra”, she stated.
By: Isaac Kofi Dzokpo/ NewsGhana.com.GH