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THE EXECUTIVE Director of the Ghana Blind Union (GBU), Dr. Peter Obeng-Asamoah has revealed that policies of successive governments and the society as a whole have failed to address the needs and safety of persons with disability in the country.

According to him, the situation has pushed some of these persons who are supposed to get support from the state, community and families onto the street thereby engaging in begging and all kinds of unhealthy activities just to survive.

Speaking at the fourth bi-annual convention held in the Greater Accra Region over the weekend by the union on the theme “Right to Parental Guide and Family Protection,” Dr Obeng-Asamoah said “it is not the willingness of some of the members on the street but because they are being rejected by the state, the community and their various families.”

Dr. Obeng-Asamoa pointed out that over the years; the district assemblies across the country have failed to pay the two percent allocation of common funds for persons with disability and in a situation where they will pay, it has being in areas more than a year.

The same government institution that has mandated the money uses the same machinery to fight against the progress of this policy; a situation he said has brought dire consequences on persons with disability.

He said it is the entire social collectiveness of both the society and the family to make sure that they cater for the socially handicapped in society.

“It is everybody’s responsibility to prevent the blind from begging and we as a union frown upon begging, thereby, discouraging our members that is why when you become a member, we advise you to stop begging and support you with employment and livelihood,” he stated.

Dr. Obeng-Asamoa added that GBU is noted for giving training and empowerment to their members to see the dignity of labour but the problem is that society has failed to set them up by absolving and integrating them.

He said society must create opportunity for them rather than frustrating them when they knock the doors of employers.

“It is high time the employer needs to see beyond the disability and accept them in their work places to exhibit their God giving talents.”

In the area of education, the Dr. Obeng-Asamoa revealed that children of these persons with disability are always neglected that is why the union has enrolled an educational support unit with over 327 students ranging from the nursery to the university.

He revealed that the Ghanaian society needs to up its game in dealing with persons with disability when it comes to choices.

The Director said their main problem is how to fund their activities because they don’t enjoy any benefit from the government.

“Most of our people want to engage in ICT because of the technological world but we cannot support them because we are financially handicapped,” he opined.

He, therefore, appealed to the general public and civil society to come to their aid and assist them fund some of their projects in order to put smiles on their faces.

The chairman of the occasion who also doubles as the regional president of the union, George Ablesi charged the members to demand a lot from policy makers because they have committed themselves and pledged to do so.    
Source: Daily Heritage

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