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04.10.2008 Regional News

Landlords threatening physically challenged persons with ejection in Sekondi-Takoradi

By gna

Physically Challenged Persons (PCP) and Persons living with Disability (PWD) in the Western Region have said the discrimination against such persons was real in spite of the passage of the disability Act 715 of 2006.

Mr. Samuel Annan, Western Regional chairman of the Ghana Federation of the Physically Challenged (GFPC) disclosed this to the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in an interview at Sekondi on Friday.

Mr. Annan said many landlords within the Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolis, have been threatening persons with disability with ejection on a persistent basis.

He said such treatment by some landlords, was a clear violation of Act 715, section two which states: “when a person with disability is renting a house, the landlord or agent must not treat him or her less favourably than they would treat any other person who is not disabled”.

He said in spite of this provision several landlords have threatened and continue to intimidate and harass PWD living in their homes with ejection, due to their condition.

Mr. Annan said the federation was compiling such cases and a formal complaint will be made to the police.

In another development Mr. Annan said banks in the country must adopt an alternative to polished floor tiles in their banking halls.

They said the use of polished marble floor tiles had occasionally led to accidents in some banking halls, especially among persons who used clutches.

He said apart from this, many of the bank counters are too high for persons who use wheel chairs and appealed to the various banks to create special desks for persons with disability to enable them to transact their businesses with ease.

He said it was sad that suggestions from members of the association to estate developers and contractors to make their facilities accessible and safe for PWDs have usually been ignored.

He said it was unfortunate that after the passage of the Disability Law Act 715 in 2006, the major challenges confronting persons with disability still persist.

Mr. Annan said though a 10-year moratorium has been granted for the total compliance of all institutions in making their structures easily accessible for persons with disability, many new buildings still do not have ease rumps and thus prevent such persons from patronising their services.

He appealed to the various implementing institutions to work hand in hand with PWD to make their life less stressful, adding; “without the necessary institutional support, many of our members will continue to suffer abuse of various forms at homes.”

Madam Gifty Erzan Essien, a member of the federation noted that parental bias, denial of education for PWD was still prevalent in many homes and discouraging.

She said such acts by parents make PWD bitter, resentful, unfriendly and isolated.

Madam Essien therefore called on parents to change their negative attitudes towards their physically challenged children and support them to achieve their ultimate just ss able bodied children.

Madam Christina Yankson, Treasurer of the GFPC said many PWD usually find it difficult to get married due to their disability.

She said societal and family rejection of potential marriage partners of physically challenged persons had contributed to this state of affairs.

“We can love, marry and have children just as anyone and society must not shun us because of our physical development," she stressed.