Accra, Dec 4, GNA - Persons with disabilities now have access to basic to tertiary education, Madam Cynthia Mamle Morrison, Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection has announced.
“Remarkably, the universities over the past decades, for example, have witnessed increasing enrolment of persons with disabilities pursuing different disciplines and are excelling academically.
The Minister, in a news release to mark the international day of persons with disabilities said as part of Government’s efforts towards social inclusion of persons with disabilities, the Government flagship programmes were extended to persons with disabilities.
“The Nation Builders Corps (NABCO) has so far employed Eighty (80) graduates who are persons with disabilities and the Youth Employment Agency (YEA) and has also covered a number of persons with disabilities.”
The observance of the day was designated to highlight and promote disability issues and mobilize support for their effective participation and inclusion in mainstream national development.
It was on the theme: “Promoting the participation of persons with disabilities and their leadership: taking action on the 2030 development agenda”.
She said Successive governments, including; the Government of the day, had taken a number of measures to ensure that persons with disabilities were “not left out of national development”, but are given equal opportunities to participate in all facets of national endeavour.
The Minister said it had enhanced the participation of persons with disabilities in the national economy, the Ministry of Business Development has initiated the “Women with Disabilities Empowerment Programme”, where female Entrepreneurs who were persons with disabilities were supported with seed capital.
She said the beneficiaries included; mothers of children with cerebral palsy and received training in book-keeping and bank accounts were opened for them.
She added that Government was gradually rolling out the Inclusive Education policy to ensure that no child with disability was left out of education.
“Teachers are being given the requisite training in the effective implementation of the Inclusive Education Policy and they are gradually cultivating the habit of accommodating every child with disability.
“Currently, Ghana can boast of thirty two (32) persons with disabilities who are part of district assemblies made up of those who were elected and those who were appointed. It is also noteworthy that the President also appointed a person with disability as a District Chief Executive (DCE) for Sunyani West in the person of– Mr Martin Obeng.
Madam Morrison said in strengthening the legal framework for mainstreaming disability in development agenda through leadership positions in Ghana, the President appointed some persons with disabilities to be Board Members of some state institutions such as the Governing Board of the National Council on Persons with Disability, National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NACCA) and Youth Employment Agency just to mention a few.
She said Government also appointed the first female person with disability to be the Executive Secretary of the National Council on Persons with Disability.
“The Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection through the National Council on Persons with Disability is currently sensitizing the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies on mainstreaming disability into their development Agenda, effective periodical reporting on the Management and Disbursement of the Common Fund for persons with disabilities.
She said the Physical Planning Departments and Works Departments of the MMDAs were sensitized on the implementation of the Ghana Accessibility Standards on the Built Environment so as to make the environment barrier free; the Social Welfare Departments of MMDAs were sensitised on the Management and Disbursement of the 3 per cent Common Fund for persons with disabilities and on building the capacity of Fund Management Committees for the 3 per cent Common Fund for Persons with Disabilities (persons with disabilities have automatic two seats on these committees).
She said the sensitization was currently ongoing in Accra and would be extended to other MMDAs in the country.
Significantly, the Technical Committee for the Review of the Persons with Disability Act, 2006 (Act 715) and Drafting of the Accompanying Legislative Instrument has been launched to work in reviewing the Act 715 to comply with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability.
The Minister said in the later part of 2018, Parliamentarians who constitute the law-making body of Ghana availed themselves to be sensitised on disability at the “Speakers Breakfast Forum” to strengthen the inclusion of disability.
“Government of Ghana will continue its culture of consulting persons with disabilities, particularly through its federation organisation, the Ghana Federation of Disability Organizations and other specialized bodies working for the interest of children with disabilities.
“I urge all stakeholders to collaborate with the National Council on Persons with Disability for the realisation of policies and strategies for the effective participation of persons with disabilities towards the achievement of sustainable development goals.
She congratulated all civil society organisations (CSOs) who are complementing the efforts of Government to better the lives of persons with disabilities including; the various local funders.”
She commended all other Government Ministries, Agencies and Departments for taking practical measures to make persons with disabilities participants in the achievement of the sustainable development goals and the private sectors that were adopting Policies on Disability Inclusion.
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