How soon can Africa create an inclusive society for all?
Two governors in Nigeria have called for the speedy passage of the disability bill by the National Assembly at the International Conference on Disabilities in Lagos. How soon can Africa create an inclusive society for all? Joining CNBC Africa for this discussion are Farida Nana Bedwei; Co-founder Logiciel, Ani Charles Bassey-Eyo; Chairman, Local Organising Committee, International Conference on Disabilities and Danlami Bashiru; Member, Committee of the UN CRPD.
Aviation Alliance (AAL) has started monthly donations of Gh¢500 to Sharecare Ghana as part of their corporate social responsibility (CSR).
The donations which started in February 2015 are going towards mobile physiotherapy for Sharecare children who are unable to go to the therapeutic centre because of limited mobility and/or financial difficulties.
Sharecare Ghana opened the therapeutic centre in Osu in May last year, but home bound children outside the community have not been able to attend. The organization thought up the mobile physio concept for the children who would greatly benefit from physiotherapy but have no access to it.
Six families are benefitting from AAL’s support for which Sharecare is sincerely grateful.
PWC has donated GH¢450 to Sharecare Ghana for presentation to a young man, Enoch, with untreated hydrocephalus and multiple disabilities. Pastor Joel Quansah of APF also donated a wheelchair from Joni and Friends to Enoch.
A team of volunteers led by Sharecare centre manager Rebecca Sai cleaned up Enoch’s premises prior to making the donation.
The team at Enoch’s place (below) with his mother. The family said they were very grateful for the donation.
COMMEMORATION OF INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITY
3rd December, 2014
Since 1992, United Nations set aside December 3rd of each year as the International Day of Persons with Disability (IDPWDs). The annual commemoration of the day has the following objectives among others:
Promotion of understanding of disability issues
Mobilization of support for the dignity, rights and well-being of PWDs, and
Increase of awareness of the benefits to be derived from the integration of PWDs in every aspect of political, economic and cultural life.
This year, the commemoration is also intended to further raise awareness of disability as a cross-cutting development issue, and to usher in the sustainable development goals which will succeed the MDGs.
Every year UN gives the theme on which the worldwide observance of the day hinges. The theme for the 2014 celebration of the IDPWDs is SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT: THE PROMISE OF TECHNOLOGY”. Since the cradle of mankind, technology has always impacted in the way people live, work and play. For instance, the information technology has led to increased connectivity between and among individuals, between businesses, and has even made the world a global village, where everybody is a neighbor to the other. One may therefore not be in error to conclude that the reasoning for curving this year’s theme around technology could be to harness the power of technology for the promotion of inclusion and accessibility for full and equal participation of PWDs in society and to shape the future of sustainable development for all. In spite of the enormous benefits of technology, it is regrettable that not all people, especially PWDs, the world’s largest minority, can afford or have access to benefits of the technology. This claim is sustained by the invisibility of PWDs in mainstream development framework and processes.
Ghana’s theme for the commemoration of the Day, MAKING GHANA ACCESSIBLE FOR PERSONS WITH DISABILITY: A CONCERN FOR ALL, goes beyond the international theme centered on technology to include the breaking down of environmental, especially the built environment, communication, and attitudinal barriers, to pave way for the enjoyment of full and equal rights on equal basis by PWDs.
The Ghana Federation of the Disabled will like to use this commemorative day to make the following appeals to government:
To make assistive technology available, affordable and accessible to PWDs in the area of communication, information, and mobility
To adopt sign language as one of the languages for official activities and for instruction, especially the training of professionals
To without delay produce and gazette the national standards for the provision of accessibility in the country. Some section of the public are already prepared and willing to comply with Section 7 of Act 715, but due to the absence of national standards, some are constructing what can best be described as “killer ramps because they are steep with very slippery surfaces. Such ramps being dotted around the country will not be useful for PWDs and will therefore not solve the physical accessibility problem in the country. The absence of the national standards is likely to provide a haven corporate organizations and government ministries, departments, and agencies failing to meet the deadline of the ten-year moratorium which ends in 2016.
To implement all pro-disability legislations and policies, starting the setting up of the national implementation and monitoring committee, as per article 33 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of PWDs (CRPD), to implement the provisions of the CRPD and to review the PWDs Act 715 as per article 4(b) of the said Convention.
To convert the national council on PWDs into an authority to give it the needed autonomy to carry out its mandatory functions which include proposing and evolving policies and strategies to enable persons with disability enter and participate in the mainstream of the national development process, monitoring and evaluating disability policies and programmes, formulating strategies for broad-based inter-sectoral, interdisciplinary involvement and participation in the implementation of the national disability policy, promoting studies and research on issues of disability, providing education and information to the public on issues of Disability and maintaining a register of persons with disability, among others.
GFD also wants to call on the various religious bodies to make the gospel available and accessible to PWDs. For instance, most church buildings, parishes, and mosques are physically not accessible to PWDs. Sermons or preaching hardly includes sign language. The pulpits are not also used to sensitize the congregation on disability.
GFD further calls on the media and Civil society organisations (CSOs) to join the crusade in promoting understanding on disability, and working towards a barrier-free country where PWDs will enjoy fully and equal rights on equal basis, at all levels, with those without disability , including participation in decision-making processes.
The Federation salutes all Persons with Disabilities as we commemorate this day and pledges its resolve to work for the recognition and promotion our rights in Ghana.
Thank you and May God Bless you All.
Ghana Federation of the Disabled (GFD)
P.O. Box AC 40, Arts Center, Accra
Tel: +233 0302-240530, 240-867200
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.gfdgh.org
To protect yourself and your family from the Ebola disease:
Avoid contact with infected persons living or dead;
Do not touch dead or live animals like bats, antelopes and monkeys;
Wash hands regularly under clean running water;
Cook all foods very well;
Persons showing signs of Ebola should be taken immediately to the nearest health facility.
Officials from Ghana Health Service educated Sharecare members on Ebola on Saturday 30th August 2014.