Consider our humanity before our disability

General News of Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Source: GNA

2017-08-08

Mr. Daniel Oppong Lartey

Mr. Daniel Oppong Lartey, President of Ghana Blind Union (GBU), Eastern Region, has asked Ghanaians to put the humanity of Persons Living With Disability (PLWD) before their descriptions and classifications.

Speaking to the Ghana News Agency (GNA) on Tuesday, he bemoaned the pain PLWDs especially persons with visual impairment, go through when seeking for jobs.

“Previously, if you complete UCC you will be posted, but now it is not like that.

You have to look for your own job and everybody is competing for the limited job spaces,” he said.

He said “most of these employers would look at your disability first before they look at the skills you have, and visual impairment is not a hidden disability. So once you appear before them, it is highly unlikely that they will consider you just for the fact that you are visually impaired.”

He however praised the Ghana Education Service (GES) for being the only institution in Ghana that had demonstrated enough regard for PLWDS by employing quite a number of them.

He said visually impaired persons could be employed in the hospitals, for example, to do social work adding “talking to people on the need to pay their bills to ECG, or joining a sensitization team that talk about illegal wiring, etc. doesn’t require eyes.”

According to him, trained teachers with visual impairment would not be accepted by some directors of education had it not been for the fact that they were posted from the Ghana Education Service headquarters in Accra.

“But if you are looking for your own job, it does not come easy. There are a number of visually impaired graduates still unemployed and now at home struggling to survive,” he said.

He observed that the Disability Act was passed to encourage the private sector in Ghana to employ PLWDs through tax rebates and other incentives “but the law has never been implemented so the private sector is also finding it difficult to absorb them.”

Mr. Evans Baah Tetteh, a graduate of the University of Cape Coast (UCC), with visual impairment, prayed government to give a quota of public sector employment to persons like him to make their lives less difficult.

Mr. Tetteh, who was skeptical about his chances at seeking a job said, “I am currently at home after my national service and things are not easy. I believe having educated myself up to the degree level, I should be assisted to get a job to make my life meaningful and reap the benefits of education.”

He observed how troubling it was “having to go back to the same people who had assisted them with their education for further assistance.

“At this point, we have done our part with all the challenges we face in life.

It is time society and government come to our aid to assist us in getting a job,” he pleaded.

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