The Ghana Federation of Disability (GFD) had urged Government to strengthen anti- discriminatory legal provisions to protect the rights and freedoms of Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) in Ghana.
It said these legal provisions if properly implemented would place Government a step ahead in its objective of creating an all inclusive society where everybody felt belonged, appreciated, and accepted.
In an interview with the Ghana News Agency, Mr George Nana Frimpong, Central Regional President of the GFD noted that PWDs must have a safe space to actively contribute to the development agenda of the country.
He indicated that the population of PWDs were growing steadily adding that it was sad they were the most marginalised, stigmatized, vulnerable, and stood the risk of being poor.
“I know that if these laws are implemented and enforced, the youth among us would particularly, fully participate meaningfully at workplaces, homes and even in national development issues.
“How many people even want to employ PWDs, a few, because the general notion is that we are handicapped and cannot really do anything. These are lies we have believed in, ask the few employed ones, they will tell you they do most of the work,” he indicated.
Speaking on PWDs employment, the President said getting a job was the first barrier and for people who became disabled while working, keeping their job, or continuing to work could also be a huge problem because society had no confidence in them.
His only worry, he said was that some PWDs lacked proper education, or skills training, which rendered them incapable of competing with others.
He said the few who were well educated were gainfully employed but had to deal with negative attitudes, stereotyping, discrimination, and most times lacked accessibility, particularly in terms of physical and digital environments.
Speaking on their access to public structures, Mr Frimpong said it was within their rights as enshrined in the PWD Act 2006 (Act 715) promulgated some 10 years ago, which required that all public spaces had disability friendly facilities.
He said failure to adhere to the 10-year moratorium defeated the purpose of the Act.“We need to curb the limitations placed on us because of these structures, it bars us from accessing health care and education, we will do our bits to ensure that these things are brought to book,” he added.
He further urged all to collectively help to make the society a safer, inclusive place for PWDs, adding that they had special needs but do not need pity but help to make to them felt belonged.