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Opinions of Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Columnist: Balami, Edward

Make All Things Accessible For All Ghanaians.

Happiness is not always found in the
money or wealth one has, but, the environment within which one founds himself,
living in a discrimination free society gives one joy and happiness. Some are accepted,
while others are rejected not by words but by our actions meanwhile, we claim
to be one people with one identity.

The 41st World Standards
Day celebrations theme “Accessibility for All With International
Standards”, must have a deep impact on all Ghanaians. It’s high time we
replace selfishness with selflessness, we are all equally important but it
seems like in everything we do as a nation, attention is given to the
physically fit persons much to the neglect of the physically challenged
persons, we most at times don’t mull over the products we do to see the number
of people who can reach, enter, maneuver
and use which has always been their

Although after fifty-three years of
independence, there have been some infrastructural developments but it is
always meant for a certain group of people. Article 29(6) of the 1992
republican constitution of Ghana says, “As far as practicable, every place to which
the public have
access shall have appropriate facilities for disabled persons.” How many buses
brought into the country make
available in them spaces to cater for the disabled? How many vans brought into
the country when converting them for commercial purposes makes provisions for
people with disabilities? How many public buildings have elevators in them? In
addition, those that have in them, how many of them are operable? Are they to
see all these things but not have access to them? Are the teaching and learning
materials in their schools adequate to enable them achieving their dreams? The
could go on and on.

Recently, the Black Challengers nearly
missed an opportunity that came their way to compete with their counterparts in
Argentina but if had been the other way, funds would have been made available
to them as soon as possible. Is there any difference between the right ear of a
horse, and the left ear of the same horse? Are they to remain on beggars and
not earners and givers? Apparently, there are many talents and potentials in them,
which need to be tapped and developed so they in turn give back to the society
and not to always, take from the society.

As we try to develop all facets of our country, let us not deny them
their rights. We need to give attention
to most especially the physically challenged, the aged and all people with
special needs so they can feel at home. You may not cherish a certain part of
your body, but do not be in a haste to forget that without that part of your
body, the rest cannot function accurately. Discrimination does not build a
nation. Let us all build to live a good legacy for generations yet unborn.


Ghana Institute of