13.06.2004 General News

Disabled workers accuse GES of marginalisation

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Kumasi, June.13, GNA -Physically Disabled workers have accused the Ghana Education Service (GES) for marginalizing them, by deliberately refusing to pay them their disability allowance, even though it was a legitimate claim for disabled workers.

Mr Khalid Bashiru, Interim Chairman of the Ghana Union of Physically Disabled Workers (GUPDW), said the GES was aware that the allowance was legitimate and yet it continues to adopt tactics to deny them of it, and therefore, called on the government to investigate the matter.

Mr Bashiru made the accusation when he addressed the opening session of the Fifth Regional Co-ordinators meeting of the GUPDW in Kumasi on Saturday.

The three-day meeting, which is being attended by 24 delegates from the country, would create a platform for discussion of problems hindering the progress of the disabled workers, with particular focus on the disability allowance and the disability bill.

It is being held under the theme: "The disability allowance and its challenges".

Mr Bashiru stressed, "our legitimate claim to the disability allowance and other incentives is not only provided for by the constitution, but equally backed by the UN standard rules, as well as the national disability policy document".

He contended that, "in spite of all these provisions and interventions, the Directors of the GES and some Health institutions continue to connive with their accountants to deny us the right to enjoy such a facility, and we shall also fight on till the battle is won in our favour".

Mr Joseph Adu-Boampong, National Financial Secretary of the Ghana Society of the Physically Disabled (GSPD) stressed the need for government to speed up efforts at implementing the disability bill, because discussion and its implementation "is long-over due". He noted that the bill was the main solution to the numerous problems confronting disabled workers, and that matter, there is the urgent need for government to ensure that it is implemented by close of the year.

Mr Michael De-Graft-Wiredu, Ashanti Regional Chairman of the GSPD, expressed concern about the manner in which architectural designs were worked out in the country in respect of buildings, since thy make, "no room for facilities that will enhance movement of the disabled through such physical structures".

He therefore, entreated the country's architects to take a second look at the plans with the view to ensuring that they incorporate designs that will help the disabled have easy access to buildings.

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