Thursday, August 6, 2009

By: Bismarck Nii Ogbamey Tetteh
THE INFORMATION Minister, Mrs. Zita Okaikoi has urged Ghanaians to see persons with disabilities as social partners who have a big role to play in our quest for development and growth as a society.
Mrs. Zita noted this noted during the official launch of a six month campaign on improving attitudes towards people with disabilities at the British council last Wednesday. It was on the theme “Improving Attitudes towards Persons with Disabilities”.
She further explained that the passage of the Disability Act in 2006 has created the necessary legal framework within which the constitutional rights of persons with disability and their welfare can be explored and protected. This she said, would enable them realize their full potential and contribute their quota towards national development.
She also added that is the Government was determined to enhance the social well-being of all, including persons with disabilities and to demonstrate this commitment; government had set up the National Council for Persons with Disability to implement the Law.
She stressed that government was ready to provide any assistance to the Centre for Employment of Persons with Disabilities and declared the campaign and Bohyeba documentary launched.
Mr. Charles Appiagyei, the acting Executive Director of Action on Disability and Development (ADD) in his closing remarks defined tradition as “handing down from generations to generations of opinions, beliefs, customs etc” or “opinions, beliefs, customs handed down”. Also, he added from the traditional perspective that the birth of physically challenged children most of the time to couple causes broken homes. He continued to say that in Einar Helander’s book “Prejudice and Dignity” stated “that the simplest definition of a disabled person is one who in his or her society is regarded as disabled because of a difference in appearance or behaviour.”
Explaining further, he added that the People with disabilities (Pwd) are stigmatized, marginalized and neglected making many excluded, poor, deprived and vulnerable, making them objects of pity, charity and rituals.
People with disabilities do not need our sympathy and the equal opportunity to help in the development of the country


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I am a Creative Arts Writer who is also into Strategic Communications, Public Relations, Photography and IT consultancy. I am also Social media enthusiast and an alumni of the Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ).


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