Gov’t urged to enforce Act 715 to protect persons with disabilities

Government has been urged to ensure effective implementation of Act 715 in order to promote disability inclusion.

The Persons with Disability Act 715 was passed in 2006 to uphold rights such as unrestricted access to public places and buildings, free healthcare, employment, education, and transportation.

Ghana signed the United Nations Convention on the Right of People with Disabilities in 2007 and ratified it in 2012.

This notwithstanding, persons with disabilities are continuously marginalized in the country.

A co-investigator on the transition of youth with disabilities in the education system project, Araba Botchway blames the failure of leaders to enforce policies as a major setback in the quest for disability inclusion.

“Ghana has an act and a policy in terms of inclusive education, but the act is not acting. The policies are there, so it is either the moral power or willpower to make sure that we are walking the talk. We are doing a lot of talking, but we want to move behind that,” she stated.

Speaking to Citi News at a symposium to disseminate research findings of a project dubbed transitions of youth with disabilities in education systems, Araba Botchway also admonished the public to desist from stigmatization and rather support persons with disabilities to improve themselves.

“One of the biggest challenges for people living with disabilities has been the issue of stigmatization. And we say this could happen to anybody at any time, so we should change our mindset that disability could happen to anybody at any time. With that kind of mindset, it is easier to empathize with them and work with them for them to be included in everything that we do,” she added.

The Transition of Youth with Disabilities in Education Systems used a participatory action research approach and engaged youth with disabilities as core members of the research team to design and implement a qualitative exploration of the experiences of youth with disabilities in Ethiopia, Ghana and South Africa.

The team had members from Ashesi University in Ghana, Queens University, Canada and Gondar University in Ethiopia.