Hon. Simon Osei – Mensah, the Ashanti Regional has deeply express the need why Ghanaians should take the disability right with all seriousness.
Addressing the 5th AFRINEAD and Scientific Conference held in KNUST College of Health Sciences with the theme “Disability and Inclusion in Africa, the role of Assistive Technology” he said the concept of disability has gained much currency and being considered as a human right issue to be tackled with all seriousness.
He also noted that every human being, at any stage of life can encounter disability of one form or the other for this reason, we should not underestimate issues relating to disability.
It is estimated that 15% of the World population lives with disabilities the disable are the world’s most underprivileged and are mostly considered disadvantaged in terms of accessing opportunities that are available, he said
According to the minister disability in Africa is very high with approximately 80 million people living with different forms of disabilities according to the United Nations Development Programme report.
Setting the record straight he said disability is caused by many factors, such as birth defects, environmental hazards, motor traffic and industrial accidents and many other factors, so people living with disability need to be included in the development of the nation and their education should be our priority, we must therefore have positive attitudes towards people with disability to eradicate the incidence of destitution that entrap people with disabilities.
Mr. Chairman, Ladies and Gentlemen, the use of Assistive Technology has benefited persons with disabilities in countries such as Canada, Sweden, Germany and many advanced nations. It improves the quality of life of persons with disability by increasing access to schools, employment, community activities and other services.
The impact and benefits of assistive technology, accessible information communication technologies have been positive on the wellbeing by improving inclusiveness and participation among persons with disabilities.
Furthermore, the minister hinted that government is therefore committed to helping create an equitable and fair society, which ensures that all citizens share in the country’s wealth and prosperity, and this will be achieved by establishing a well-funded, functioning welfare system which addresses the needs of the weak, marginalized, vulnerable and socially excluded.
Finally he said, the government through the Ministry of Roads and Highways has launched the persons with disability Road Toll Initiative, by this, fifty (50) percent of the people who would manage the
country’s toll booths would be persons with disabilities, Similarly specific job contracts would be reserved for PWDs, women, and other considered to be disadvantaged.