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Regional News of Saturday, 18 May 2013

Source: GNA

ISODEC calls for quality education for persons with disability

The Integrated Social Development Centre (ISODEC), a civil society organization, has appealed to the government to, as a matter of urgency, implement the 2006 Disability Act to ensure access to quality education by persons with disability.

It said a survey conducted in the West Mamprusi and Mamprugu Moadurigu districts revealed that some 1,080 Persons with Disability (PWDs), aged 19 years and below, lived under appalling conditions and stressed the importance of urgent steps by the government to ameliorate the situation.

The ISODEC made the appeal in a communiqué issued on Friday in Walewale, in the West Mamprusi District and read by Mr Eric Kavaarpuo, Co-ordinator of Ibis, a partner organization.

The communiqué was issued based on a research finding which indicated that out of the 1,080 PWDs in the two districts, only seven received support with the rest left to their fate contrary to Act 715 of 2006.

ISODEC is implementing a project focusing on children with disability under the VSO Tackling Education Needs Inclusive (TENI) project, aimed at advocating for the needs of PWDs in those districts.

The communiqué called for a full implementation of the Disability Act for the benefit of all disabled persons saying that the numerous social protection policies including the National Health Insurance Policy, Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty and the Capitation Grant, were not well co-ordinated to ensure that Ghana secured a better future for children with disability.

“There should be quality education and training for disabled children that empowers them to be active and responsible citizens. Government, particularly the Ministry for Gender and Social Protection, must work at harmonizing all social protection policies to better target the poorest of the poor and ensure that the needs of children with disabilities are well catered for,” it said.

The communiqué also called for the strengthening of the Department of Social Welfare to make it more responsive in providing social welfare services to the vulnerable in partnership with communities and agencies.

It called on the media, and civil society organisations to amplify the welfare of PWDs in a positive way, in view of existing low public knowledge and awareness of the Disability Act and socio-cultural practices which infringed on the rights of PWDs.

“The stakeholders further strongly recommend that civil society and NGOs do more to support children with disability through public education on potentials and capabilities of such children; supporting them with training and engaging vigorously in advocacy work to reverse discrimination and stigmatization against children with disabilities,” it said.

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