Ebenezer Sowah, GNA
Ho, Dec. 04, GNA - The Ghana Federation of Disability Organizations (GFD) has asked the Ministry of Gender and Social Protection to remove barriers to physical accessibility for persons with disabilities to access public facilities and infrastructures with or without minimal assistance.
Speaking at the International Day for Persons With Disabilities (PWDs) in Ho on the theme, "Empowering Persons With Disability and Ensuring Accessibility and Inclusiveness," Mr. Elolo Adjei, Volta Regional President, GFD, urged the Ministry to ensure that all Ministries, Departments and Agencies of Government adhered to Article 9 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and Persons with Disability Act, 2006 (Act 715).
He said Section 6 of Article 715 stipulated that "the owner or occupier of a place to which the public has access shall provide appropriate facilities that make the place accessible to and available for use by PWDs”, while Section 7 stated that "a person who provides service to the public shall put in place the necessary facilities that make the service available and accessible to PWDs”.
Mr. Adjei said it was unfortunate that though laws were documented, they were yet to be fully complied with and that PWDs deemed that unfair and discriminatory for the country to overlook what was to ensure inclusion for all persons.
The Organization recommended that to increase awareness and contributions of PWDs in adherence to the law, the Gender Ministry should ensure that institutions that failed to comply with the accessibility provision of the law per standard designs by the national accessibility standard were sanctioned.
Mr Nelson Akorli, Ho Municipal Chief Executive, said the Assembly was working hard to ensure that all public facilities were disability friendly.
He said the Assembly was also encouraging individuals who put up houses for rent to make them disability friendly.
The petition was signed by the Ghana Blind Union, Ghana National Association of the Deaf, Ghana Society of Persons with Disabilities, Ghana Association of Persons with Albinism, Mental Health Society of Ghana, Share Care, Inclusion Ghana, Burn Survivors Foundation, STAR Ghana and Civil Society Movement for Social Inclusion.
GFD champions the rights of persons with disabilities to education, employment, health, economic welfare, recreation, the built environment, justice, information and governance.