The National Council on Persons with Disabilities under the auspices of the Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Cynthia Mamle Morrison has held the maiden disability-inclusion summit in commemoration of the UN International Day of Persons with Disabilities.
The event was under the theme “Ending Invisibility: Building Standards for Disability Inclusion and Sustainable Post-Covid-19 Ghana”.
The summit, held at the Accra International Conference Centre on December 3, saw the launch of the 8 Commitments Government of Ghana pledged during the 2018 Global Disability Summit on disability-inclusiveness.
The eight commitments of the government of Ghana are: to eliminate stigma and discrimination against persons with disabilities; to promote inclusive education; to ensure routes to economic empowerment of persons with disabilities; to harness technology and innovation to better lives of persons with disabilities; to build disaggregated data on persons with disabilities to inform policy formulation and implementation; to make adequate provisions for women and girls with disabilities on account of double discrimination; mainstream disability into conflict and humanitarian responses; ensure accessibility for persons with disabilities.
These commitments are expected to create a socially-inclusive and sustainable society in Ghana while complying with the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
This Maiden Disability Inclusion Summit brought together players in the disability sector to assess critically, the disability inclusion implementation strategies in the country; building on Ghana’s many efforts in the field of disability mainstreaming such as the Mental Health Decree (NRCD 30), the 1992 Constitution, Children’s Act 1998 (Act 560), the Labour Act, 2003 (Act 651), the Persons with Disability Act, 2006 (Act 715), the Education Act 2008 (Act 778), the National Health Insurance Act 2012 (Act 852), the ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in 2012 and submission of initial report on the implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD).
At the launch, the executive secretary of the National Council on Persons with Disability, Mrs. Esther Akua Gyamfi stressed the purpose of the summit.
She said, “the objective of this summit, as inferred from the UN Convention On The Right Of Persons With Disability, is to give us the opportunity to assess our work on disability inclusion to see where we find ourselves; are we happy with the work we are doing; do we have to realign our activities; how do we coordinate and collaborate as stakeholders in the disability fraternity?”
Towards ensuring a disability-inclusive society, panels discussed four thematic areas of disability inclusion: Assessing advocacy and strategies around disability work for a coordinated National Disability Inclusion Plan towards Ghana Beyond Aid; Building standards for disability inclusion and sustainable post-covid 19 Ghana; National protocol for inclusive health care; Quality rights in mental, intellectual and psychosocial disabilities.
On the discussions of these thematic areas, resolutions expected to serve as a guide on policy formulation and decision-making on issues of disability in Ghana were reached.
Represented by Mr. Opoku Kyei, Senior Technical advisor to the Senior Minister, the President of Ghana pledged his commitment to ensuring that persons with disabilities enjoy their fundamental human rights.
He said “The government of Ghana is committed to ensuring that persons with disabilities enjoy to the fullest, their fundamental human rights as enshrined in the 1992 Constitution”
Stating what the government has done so far, he said ” Steps have been put in place under the supervision of the Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection to provide adequate staff and properly resource the National Council on Persons with Disability”.
He also stated that “the Common Fund has been increased from 2 percent to 3 percent to economically empower persons with disability as well as take care of their educational and health needs”.
Meanwhile, ” the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) has also been refocused to include persons with disability”, he added.
Chaired by His Royal Majesty King Tackie Tseuru II, the event was attended by personalities from governmental and non-governmental organizations, representatives of foreign governments and persons with disabilities.
By Spencer Kwabena Boateng Mensah|3news.com|Ghana