The Department of Social Welfare says it has registered 373 persons with disabilities at Bamboi, Tinga and Maluwe Area Councils this year out of 459 applicants.
Mr. Stephen Mensah, Bole District Director of the Department of Social Welfare told the Ghana News Agency in an interview in Bole that the education of the persons with disabilities was a major concern for the Department.
Mr. Mensah said gone were the days when disability was seen as a spiritual issue and persons with disabilities were considered as a cursed and had to be subjected to all manners of treatments such as discrimination, stigmatization and exclusion.
Some parent in the district, who hitherto were confining their disabled children in the rooms and pens, are now acting responsibly and bringing out their disabled children to be registered and enrolled in schools.
Mr. Mensah said the Department has embarked on a sustained campaign in the rural communities sensitizing parents to send their disabled children to school.
The campaign had made it possible for the Department to enrolled 50 disabled children, made up of both visually impaired and difficulty hearing to Wa School for the Blind and Wa School for the Deaf and Dumb respectively this academic year
Amounts of 71,557 Ghana Cedis were provided to both students and adult disables in 2012, 7,875 Ghana Cedis in 2013 and 23,615 Ghana Cedis in 2014 from the 2 per cent of the District Common Fund for the persons with disabilities.
About 21 disabled children from Bole who were enrolled the previous years at basic level at the Wa School for the Blind and Wa Deaf and Dumb School and they had also been supported with an amount of 4,200 Ghana Cedis.
At second cycle and tertiary institutions, 28 disabled students had been provided with 11,000 Ghana Cedis to pay their school fees.
Mr. Mensah said 10,000 Ghana Cedis had also been disbursed to persons with disabilities to start small businesses and other ventures which included radio and television, shoe and leather works and farming as well as petty trading to help improve their livelihoods.
Mr. Mensah said the Department and Community Development was providing care and support for the vulnerable including persons with disabilities, and was organising training for 50 trainable disabled persons in Bole.
Mr. James Jaaga, Bole District Chief Executive, who also spoke to the GNA said government would do all that it takes to support the various disabled associations to help get their members off the streets and stop them from begging for alms.
He said government was mindful of the basic needs of persons with disabilities and had introduced interventions including training programmes and the allocation of 2 per cent share of the District Assemblies Common Fund to make them more productive and self-reliance.
Mr. Jaaga said the assembly was in partnership with members of Ghana Blind Union, Ghana Society of Physically Disabled and Ghana Association of the Deaf operating in Bole and supporting them to overcome their challenges.
He assured persons with disabilities in the district that district assembly would always release the 2 percent share allocated to them from the district common fund as soon as the money was made available to cater for their basic needs.
The District Chief Executive urged executives of the various disabled associations to help make their members confident and change their attitude to help them to overcome societal challenges.
Mr. Jaaga urged members of the associations to endeavour to take advantage of government’s interventions and non-governmental organisations assistance to make meaningful lives for themselves.
Mr. Abraham Boah, Northern Regional President of Persons with Disabilities, said ignorance had made the public not to know more about disability issues.
He explained that until one was dead, all living persons were in one way or the other a disable persons and, therefore disable issues should be the concern of all.
Mr. Boah said public buildings were still a challenge to persons with disabilities and appealed to government to enforce the laws to make all public facilities disable friendly.
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