Former Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection, Honorable Otiko Afisa Djaba has encouraged persons with disability (PWDs) to fear not while urging society to also desist from discriminating against PWDs.
She was speaking at the Disability Empowerment Conference organized by the University of Cape Coast Student’s Representative Council in collaboration with the Association for Person’s with Disabilities and the Henry Djaba’s Foundation- a foundation which seeks to empower persons living with disabilities and working together in transforming and changing lives.
The Former Minister said “Person’s with different abilities, you are powerful, fear not, be bold, be courageous because you are perfect in your own way”. “Let’s change our attitude, let us have a collective responsibility as Ghanaians and support each other, let us treat them with love” she added.
The conference which was dubbed, “Overcoming the shackles of disability” was geared towards empowering students with disabilities to exert their full potentials regardless of any challenges they may face formed part of the UCC SRC’s Week Celebration.
Head of Disability Resource Center at University of Ghana, Mr. Alexander Williams highlighted some significance of the Assistive Technology or the Information Technology saying “the Assistive Technology serves as a bridging gap that enhances and promote the functioning capacity of PWD’s, it increases effectiveness of PWD’s and affords them better access to opportunities”. The Assistive Technology can be a piece of equipment or modified device or system that enhances and promote the functionality’s and effectiveness of PWD’s.
In enhancing and facilitating better inclusion of PWD’s in mainstream society, Mr. Williams suggested some concrete means to help assist areas where Assistive Technology is concerned. He indicated that, “the Section 36 of the Disability Act that seeks to promote the production of Assistive Technology locally, needs to develop a policy to regulate the development and usage and availability of Assistive Technology in the country”.
He therefore proposed that, the government pay a critical attention to PWD’s as they contribute about seven percent (7%) of the national GDP and can be effective in solving economic problems.
A member of the Youth Employment Agency and an Ex President of the Association for PWD’s at UCC, Mr. Isaac Afari, speaking on the topic, “Disability- a collective responsibility with collective dividends”, challenged PWD’s to stand and fight for their right.
“The Disability Movement is not proactive enough as some issues relating to PWD’s are painted black and not exposed or talked about” said Mr Asare who reiterated that, the creative industry especially the film sector should do away with negative perceptions about PWD’s as some mostly portray them as negative influence on society in movies.
The event was graced by dignitaries from the Ghana Blind Union, Henry Djaba Foundation, GIFEC among others who enjoyed a melodious time and performance from the Cape Coast School for the Deaf & Blind.
source: Joseph Kojo Mensah | Choicism.com