Ghana Legally Protects Citizens with Disabilities

Ghana recently included persons with disabilities in its National Social Protection Strategy and Poverty Reduction interventions in an effort to improve their quality of life and allow them to fully participate in the growth of the country.

At the UN in New York in early June, Deputy Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection in Ghana, Alexander John Acton, discussed the mainstreaming process at the Conference of Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).

Two percent of the total national revenue will be allocated for projects related to persons with disabilities including for initiatives related to education, healthcare, assistive technology, training, and business assistance. This is further to efforts in 2013 to help more than 23,814 persons with disabilities fulfill their basic needs, through the $1.5 million Ghana Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty program.

The Ghana Investment Fund for Electronic Communications will also provide ICT training to help persons with disabilities secure employment. They will focus as well on including women and girls with disabilities in both basic and university-level education. At the meeting, Deputy Secretary General Jan Eliasson mentioned that women and girls, youth, and the elderly with disabilities are particularly discriminated against.

Finally, Ghana will build more lifts and ramps in public places, and provide accessible reading materials in collaboration with the Ghana Blind Union.

Mr. Ackon hopes further policies and efforts will be more specifically tailored to citizen’s needs and has therefore commissioned the NCPD to develop a database to register persons with disabilities in the country to better account for their specific needs in policymaking.

Finally, Mr. Eliasson notes the importance of further cooperation with regards to empowering persons with disabilities to help all Parties to the Convention further their national efforts in this regard.

Source: R. Harry Reynolds, ISD, Government of Ghana, Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media