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17.04.2007 General News

Refusal to enrol disabled is an offence - Lawyer


It is an offence to refuse admission to students because of disabilities, Heads of Senior Secondary Schools (SSS) have been reminded.

They should rather assist the parents of such students to gain admission into the right schools.

Jeduah Mahama Abudu, a Legal Practitioner, speaking at a seminar on the Disability Law in Wa on Monday, organised by the Centre for Democratic Development (CDD)-Ghana with USAID sponsorship said the disabled should not be discriminated.

In a presentation on Post Enactment Activities of the Disability Act 715, he said under the law derogatory names on persons with disabilities should be discouraged to avoid legal action.

It was equally an offence for people to exploit such persons or using them to front for making money, he pointed out.

The Legal Practitioner appealed to the Ghana Federation of the Disabled (GFD) to advise its members to stop begging on the streets since it was an offence to do so and said they should rather establish a Fund into which public-spirited individuals and corporate bodies could donate.

Mr. Abudu called on the National House of Chiefs to play a leading role in ensuring the needs and protect of the rights of persons with disabilities by abolishing customary practices and acts that either dehumanised or caused disabilities to people.

He stressed the need for the training of health and the law enforcement personnel in the proper handling of persons with disabilities.

Nicholas Halm, Chairman of the Advocacy and Publicity Committee of GFD, said the passage of the law should not be seen as the end and called for the commitment of members of the Federation and other stakeholders to ensure its smooth implementation.

He said the Federation had declared June 23 as a Special Day its members to sit with government officials and other stakeholders to discuss issues affecting persons with disabilities

Father Aloysius Nuolabong, Coordinator of the Satellite Peace Building Centre, a Catholic NGO, called for educational programmes to empower persons with disabilities.

"It is only through the provision of training and skills acquisition that would make them self-sufficient and responsible in society", he said, adding that, "persons with disabilities become 'alive' when society recognizes them but feel 'dead' when they are dehumanised".

Source: GNA