The main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) is seeking to make the welfare of physically challenged persons a top priority in its next administration should the party win the 2020 December 7th elections.
According to Dr. Michael Kpessa-Whyte, former Executive Director of the National Service Secretariat (NSS) and NDC member, the manner in which physically challenged persons are referred should be revised.
He argues that tagging them as “Persons with Disability” does not exude enough respect.
According to Dr. Whyte, the next NDC government will adopt the United Nations reference for disabled persons, which is “differently-abled persons”, in order to elicit the needed respect.
“Going forward, even the term persons with disability should be looked at again. As you very well know, the United Nations does not refer to them as persons with disability. They refer to them as differently-abled persons and that kind of nomenclature is probably the kind of approach we want to adopt going forward so that people can respect them in such order,” he said.
Dr. Whyte, who spoke on Citi FM's Voter’s Diary programme, explained that the NDC will conduct a separate population census for such persons.
He said the move will help the government better allocate funds for the group.
“It is important to recognize that in the same document, we did indicate that in 2021 national population census that is to be undertaken, the government will provide additional support and funding so that there will be on the side census for disabled persons as well. And once that number is known, once as a country, we come to establish firmly the threshold of persons with a disability we have, then we will be in the right position to determine by what quantum the District Assembly Common Fund for persons with disabilities should be,” he noted.
The National Democratic Congress, in its newly launched “People’s Manifesto” indicated that the next NDC government will increase the percentage of the District Assemblies Common Fund reserved for persons with disabilities as well as establish a disability fund in the districts.