For the past four years now I keep advocating for this worthy course which seems unheeded by the people in authority, ministries and agencies, parliament, media, and even the federation of persons with disability in Ghana.
But, this is still relevant and needs national attention as soon as possible.
Persons with disabilities are the world’s largest minority group and they are estimated to include about 10% of the global population.
Social, architectural, transportation, institutional, and information barriers continue to prevent them from having access to available resources and opportunities to maximize their potential. Ghana cannot be left in oblivion when such matters come to scrutinization.
As a nation, disability persons has been hugely discriminated against and relegated to the streets to beg for money. An unfortunate situation that deserves immediate address and eradication.
Admittedly, it is worth noting that the attitude of the Ghanaian toward the disabled in our society has changed for the better as compared to the last 10 years but we can still do better.
Now, we have able bodied persons who are sited at toll booth centers across the nation using only their hands to work (an operation in which every disabled person on wheel chair can execute with ease if employed) and serve vehicles plying our high ways at all toll booth joints across the nation.
I strongly believe that this is supposed to be a preserved job (in the form of a quota system) for the already vulnerable group, i.e. the disabled person.
Undeniably, existing policies formulated to aid disabled persons are quite commendable. For instance, the provision of special facilities for the disabled persons in government universities and other state institutions are some of the measures which had gone a long way to integrate disabled persons into the society and also give them quality education. But, we can do better as a nation.
However, this piece, from my peace of mind seeks to call for a Legislative Instrument on the Disability Act in order to spell out clearly and how what institutions are mandated to do to ensure that lives of disabled persons were made easier. Preferential treatment in certain Jobs and other social services must be tailored to cover this group of persons in society.
Interestingly, public transport drivers for instance are required by law to reserve two seats for people with disability (PWD) when loading their vehicles with passengers yet nobody cares about such existing discrimination with our disabled brothers and sisters bearing such a glaring discrimination year in year out.
The focal point of my argument sterns from the fact that countless persons with disability dangerously parade on the streets all over the country. Begging for arms on the streets seems has become their only hope of living life.
Suffixing it to say, most disabled persons are very intelligent, can speak and write good English.
Yet societal stigmatization and failures on the part of government departments and agencies tasked with overseeing such situations has resulted in worsening their plight seemingly.
Unequivocally, I am humbly calling on the Ghana High Way Authority, National Labour Commission, Human right advocacies, civil society organizations, disabled persons association to call for the reservation of such jobs for the physically challenged persons, particularly those who have strong arms (hands) but only sit on wheel chairs or limps on one leg.
Practically, the able bodied persons recruited only sit lethargically in such ”cages” to receive money and issue out tickets.
All well meaning citizens of Ghana must come to terms of the fact that Persons with disability (PWD) need understanding, not compassion from society, they need opportunities (quota systems) such as jobs in which they are qualified and capable of handling not charity and they need equity and equality but not consideration.
However, I humbly call on government to consider such an initiative and give it the necessary attention. I am also appealing to Civil Society Organizations, Human Rights Advocates, Disabled persons Association to equally devote attention to this seemingly discriminative job at the (Toll Booths) Ghana High Way Authority.
A research embarked upon by my outfit clearly painted the above picture. Moving forward, I call for an urgent deliberation on this matter.
I believe that, Ghana’s democracy can only be consolidated when all manner of persons are treated equal devoid of sectionalism, tribalism, separatism, regionalism, and hypocrisy whiles positive preference is upheld.
LONG LIVE MOTHER GHANA!!!!
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