Ms Esther Cobbah, CEO of Stratcomm Africa, a communication company, has observed that society loses valuable capabilities of persons with disabilities if they are excluded.
She said: “Persons with disabilities have a lot of valuable abilities that could help enhance development, if we continue to exclude them because of their disabilities, society loses big time,” she said.
Ms Cobbah said in a developing country like Ghana, exclusion was dangerous, because “we need to harness the abilities of all persons for our development.”
She was speaking to media practitioners at a programme dubbed: Media Capacity Building Initiative for Reporting Disability (MCBIRD)
MCBIRD is an initiative by the Young African Media Centre with support from the United States Embassy in Ghana to provide professional development, guidance, and platforms for journalists to effectively report of disability.
Ms Cobbah said: When we engage and include persons with disabilities it also enhances our humanity as a people, and it helps promote social empathy.
“In most places in Ghana, there is usually a person with disability who is close to the chief to remind the chief of his role in promoting humanity and inclusion.”
Rev. Alexander Nyame, Coordinator, the Ministry to Persons with Disabilities of the Church of Pentecost, urged Ghanaians not to assume that persons with disability cannot do anything.
He said persons with disabilities had unused skills, potential and talents but because society for many years had thought of them as incapable, their endowments were not less harnessed for development.
Rev. Nyame called on all Ghanaians to make practical efforts to include persons with disabilities, saying “we encourage everyone to be committed to the full inclusion of persons with disabilities. Full inclusion is possible.”