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General News of Thursday, 7 February 2008

Source: GNA

Deaf could contribute to national development

Kumasi Feb 7, GNA- The public have been called upon to disabuse their minds that persons with hearing disabilities are unproductive and incapable of contributing positively to national development. The deaf should also not be regarded as an economic burden on the family and society.

Mr Samuel Kwasi Asare President of the Ghana National Association for the Deaf (GNAD) made the call at a capacity building workshop for people with disabilities, organized by the Centre for Democratic Development (CDD) in collaboration with The Ghana Federation of the Disabled (GFD) in Kumasi on Thursday.

It's aimed at enhancing and strengthening the capacities of disability organization and facilitates equal opportunities for persons with disabilities to participate fully in the decision making process and advocates for their own rights.

Mr Asare expressed concern about the negative attitude of the public towards disabled persons, which he said had brought about discrimination and poverty amongst such people in society. Touching on the theme "promoting and protecting the rights of people with disabilities", Mr Asare pointed out that because the deaf is sidelined in society, they lacked access to information, employment, higher education and advocacy rights.

Mr Abdul Wahab Musa, Programmes officer for CDD, noted that since the disability law was passed in 2006, there has been significant progress in promoting and protecting the rights of people with disabilities. Their rights, he added had been trampled upon for a long time and therefore urged all stakeholders including the government to help promote and protect the rights of the disabled.

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