Values For Life (VFL) Ghana, has joined CSOs and NGOs to urged Government to strive to do more for the citizens of Ghana and especially People living with Disabilities.
Ms Abla Dzifa Gomashie, the Chief Executive Officer, VFL-Ghana, said one of Ghana’s advanced works on protecting rights of persons with disabilities was the Inclusive Education Policy.
Ms Gomashie said this in a message to commemorate the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, which falls on December 3, every year.
This year’s event was on the theme: “Transformation towards sustainable and resilient society for all.”
The United Nations General Assembly Resolution 47/3 in 1992 declared the observance of 3rd December as the International Day of Persons with Disabilities.
The aim is to promote the rights and total well-being of persons with disabilities in the society for development and to promote awareness of the condition of persons with disabilities in every aspect of political, social, economic and cultural life.
She said Article 29 of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana made specific reference to persons with disabilities; “have the right to live with their families, have the right to participate in social, creative or recreational activities, must be free from exploitation, discrimination and abuse, must have their condition taken into account in any judicial proceedings, must have access to public places as far as it is practicable and should be given special incentives to engage in business”.
She said again in 2006, the Disability Act 715 was designed to ensure that Article 29 of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana was clearly set in law.
“In 2012 Ghana ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which means that Ghana formerly agrees that it will abide and enforce the rights contained in CRPD,” she added.
She said in June 2015, Ghana launched the Inclusive Education Policy which defined the strategic path of the government for the education of all children with special educational needs.
This policy builds upon sections in the 1992 Constitution, the National Development Agenda, the Education Strategic Plan and International Commitments to achieve national as well as international goals for creating an environment for addressing the diverse educational needs of all Ghanaians.
Some of the State actors involved were particularly the Ministry of Education, the Ghana Education Service, the Ministry of Health, the National Council for Persons with Disability and the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social protection.
She said the involvement of non-state actors such as the UNICEF and other UN Agencies, STAR Ghana, Inclusion Ghana, Ghana Blind Union, the Ghana Federation of Disability Organizations, the Ghana National Education Campaign Coalition, and the others have been crucial to the development of this policy.
The CEO said there were other individual actors, who also contributed to achieving the same course like the founder of the Autism Ambassadors of Ghana, who created an Autism Aid App to serve as a learning tool for children living with Autism.
In July 2017, the Ministry for Roads and Highways also launched an employment initiative by the government to create employment opportunities for PWDs in ministries, departments, and agencies.
The launch was done in collaboration with the Ministry of Information and the Ghana Federation of Disability Organizations (GFD).
She said regrettably, with these entire legal frameworks, Persons with Disabilities still endured stigmatization and denied support systems by the State.
She said as a member of the UN “we can improve on creating an enabling environment for Persons with Disabilities by working in line with the Sustainable Development Goals and specifically with parts relating to education, health, growth and employment, quality and accessibility of human settlements.
“We will strive to create more awareness for the inclusion of all children in all programmes and projects and to work with any group seeking to promote the well-being and welfare of our children,” she added.