Gov’t urged to ensure institutions comply with Disability Act

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Disability Act
Disability Act

Parents’ self-help groups and advocates in Ho have urged the Government to ensure institutions comply with the Disability Act as failure to adhere to the 10-year moratorium is defeating the purpose of the Act.

The Persons with Disability (PWDs) Act 2006 (Act 715) makes it mandatory for all public buildings to be fitted with disability-friendly facilities to make them easily accessible.

At an inception and advocacy workshop on Tuesday, the participants, mainly parents of children with developmental disabilities, said it was worrying that for almost 15 years after the Act, no concrete step had been taken to ensure its full compliance.

They said the situation was posing a great challenge to PWDs, especially in accessing healthcare and education, and wanted facilities refusing to abide by the Act to be brought to book.

The benefits of government’s policy of inclusive education, the participants said, would not be achieved as some educational facilities remained disability-unfriendly.

They, therefore, appealed for pragmatic steps to deal with the situation to alleviate the plight of PWDs in accessing facilities of service.

The workshop, organised by the Kekeli Foundation, a non-profit organisation, aimed at empowering the participants to building their capacity to become effective advocates of PWDs.

It was to also draw attention of the relevant authorities to the plight of parents with children living with disability so they could offer them the needed support to take care of these children.

Mr Brandford Kwasi Tay, the Project Manager of the Foundation, speaking to Ghana News Agency, appealed to chiefs and queens to get involved in the campaign to address problems bedeviling PWDs in the country.

“Nobody is inspecting or monitoring to see if institutions are complying with the Disability Act,” he said, and urged institutions and agencies to endeavour to structure their facilities in accordance with the law.

Madam Carrie Colleen Brown, Director of the Foundation, told the GNA the rights of children with developmental disabilities had seen some improvement since the inception of the Foundation.

She, however, said a lot more remained to be done, hence the training for parents to advocate the rights of the children.

“We see parents as experts, they know the needs of the children. We as a group can push for buildings to be made accessible, we can push for support services in healthcare and education,” she added.

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