CDD pledges support for disabled
The Deputy Head of Programmes of the Center for Democratic Development (CDD) Ghana, Mr. Peter Owusu-Donkor has noted that as a democracy and governance focused institution, CDD maintains deep and abiding interest in promoting respect for human rights in Ghana, which includes the rights of the vulnerable and disadvantaged in the society. It is for this reason, according to him, that the Center joined other institutions in the country in welcoming the passage of the Disability Act 715 in June last year.
Peter Owusu-Donkor who was speaking at a seminar on the Disability Act in Takoradi last Wednesday said CDD appreciated the efforts of both government and Parliament in ensuring the disabled enjoyed their rights as enshrined in Article 29 of the constitution. In close collaboration with disability focal organizations, notably the Ghana Federation of the Disabled (GFD) and Action on Disability Development (ADD), they have not relented on their efforts of embarking on nationwide public education with the primary objective of reaching out to people living with disabilities. “We are also about to roll out an anti stigmatization of people with disabilities campaign”, Mr Owusu Donkor reiterated. Touching on the work of the Center with regards to the Law, he emphasized “we must get persons with disabilities properly informed about the provisions of the Law so that they can take advantage of them’.
In his address, the President of the Ghana Federation of the Disabled (GFD), Mr. Yaw Ofori Debrah said for the Act to be fully implemented, it had to be a concern to all stakeholders in the Disability field. According to him, disability was not an inhibition but rather society that inhibited people with disability. He therefore called on human rights activists to expose people who discriminate against or abuse people with disability so that the law would deal with them. Mr. Debrah revealed that it was not only the legislative instrument of the country that protected them, but international conventions as well and cited the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons Living with Disability as one of such conventions that protected them. Making a presentation on the Act, Dr. Kwadwo Appiagyei-Atua of CDD disclosed that the law had made provisions for the setting up of a national council. The Council, he noted, shall advise, support and develop strategies and plans to help persons with disability to take part in national development. This he indicated was an indication of the nation recognizing the efforts and contributions of the people living with disabilities.
Two clergy men, Bishop John Harvey-Ewusi of the Methodist Church of Sekondi Diocese and Sheikh Nuamah, an Islamic cleric in their remarks on moral responsibility of society towards people living with disabilities, appealed to Ghanaians to change their attitudes towards People with Disabilities. Whilst Rev. Ewusi reminded believers in Christ to learn from King David in the Bible and understand that being a disabled was not incapacitation, Sheikh Nuamah on that Islamic perspective reminded Ghanaians that those who help the needy are those seeking nearness to the all mighty Allah and that it should be a sense of reasoning among Ghanaians to note that anybody could be affected by activities of any kind leading to disability. The two religious leaders therefore urged Ghanaians to provide care, maintenance for people living with disability.
Source: The Chronicle