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Persons With Disability Appeal For Better Electoral Privileges

Aug. 12, 2016, 3:08 p.m.

The Ghana Federation for the Disabled (GFD), has appealed to the Electoral Commission to give Persons With Disabilities (PWDs) equal rights and privileges in the upcoming general election.

Mr Medi Ssengooba, Disability Right Fund Programme Officer of GFD told the GNA in an interview that this would be fulfilled when provisions like sign language interpreters, tactile jackets, disability friendly polling stations are made available for PWDs to successfully exercise their franchise and participate fully in the election.

He said this during a press soiree organised by the Federation to enlighten the media and other stakeholders on their petition.

Mr Ssengooba noted that the Federation has had discussions with the Commission to find better ways of making PWDs enjoy equal rights as everyone due to how sensitive it is to them.

“We also wish to make it clear that, no child should be refused admission into school especially public ones on the basis of his or her disability condition,” he said.

On his part, disability as an issue should reflect in data and better policies should be formed to enrich their means of livelihood.

He said Ghana signed a UN treaty on conventions of the rights of PWDs that demands constant reports from the country.

However, he said little effort has been put in place to give PWDs equal rights to life as other persons enjoy.

“Reasonable accommodation is an opportunity that allows PWDs to enjoy our rights. For instance, when a PWD get to a ramp on the road, a help from a person makes the person an accommodation for the PWD,” he said.

He urged media institutions to give PWDs platforms to voice out issues and challenges they face and celebrate their achievements as well.

Mrs Rita Kusi Kyeremaa, Executive Director of the GFD said the Federation has put measures in place to advocate for the government to implement beneficial policies to positively affect the lives of PWDs.

She mentioned physical accessibility, access to services, information and beneficial policies as some of the areas they want to be considered.

Mrs Kusi Kyeremaa said: “Generally there is low knowledge on PWDs, therefore taking decisions and organising programmes for PWDs is quite challenging.

“Therefore we look forward to partner with certain bodies including the media and their stakeholders to enlighten the… public on the pros and cons of PWDs.”

She urged the government to consider post-election interventions, adding that the Federation would soon
present its input to the authorities for review of the strategic plan.

Source: GNA